Elastic Basket for my Peaches

I also have a website: www.lizhightower.com

Sunday, January 27, 2008

My dad breaks the rules

So, last Wednesday was career day at my school. I don't remember having a career day at my school when I was a kid but they were often part of television shows like Full House. Uncle Joey didn't show up at this career day but it was still good.

The way this one worked was that professionals came to our class in groups of three for three rotations. My dad was in the first rotation for my class. Unfortunately he had to follow a representative from the SPCA and an animal cop. The animal cop was one of the ladies from the show, Animal Cops." She goes where animals are being abused and arrests those doing it. She even remarked on our class turtles, Gary and Susan. I had been told it was illegal to sell turtles that size but how could I pass up $5 a piece at the Flea Market? She said that having them as pets is illegal but you can have them for educational purposes. They are really more like class mascots than educational tools but I wasn't going to tell her that lest she take them away.

So, my dad had to follow the animal cop. Somehow law is not as interesting as animals. He did a good job, though. He tried to use third-grade friendly language and examples. He used some of my kids' names in his examples, which is always a hit. The best part of the whole day was when he called on one of my students. She said that he had broken a rule. When he asked what, she said, "You called Miss Hightower by her first name." She had a point and we all had a good laugh as my dad explained that being my dad gave him the right to call me by my first name.

The other guests were pretty good with the exception of this geeky middle-aged audio/visual technician. He explained his job in technical terms that even I had trouble following. He spent more time talking about Chicago than his job, which was probably good since his job was so boring.

One of my students' fathers came and shared about how he had come to Texas from Mexico and didn't know English. He also told them that he had failed the fifth grade. But despite these challenges, he is now a very successful technologies specialist with a post-graduate degree. This was great for them to hear since many of them have failed grades already. I was glad he shared that with them.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Belated Birthday Blog

So, my birthday was more than a week ago but I thought my blog readers (whoever you may be) would like to know how the big shebang went down.

The kids at school told me, "Happy Birthday" about every five minutes. I got several gifts from them: a big fleece UT blanket, a Dr. Suess book with stuffed animal from story, a fake crystal bowl(they know my taste so well!), a $20 Target gift card- Yay, and a Betty Bop doll a kid won from a crane machine. Betty had a jewelry box taped to her that held a very grandma-ish rose broach. I obviously put on the broach immediately. It was worth it to look silly and make a kid's day.

I left school as soon as possible and took a nice birthday nap. Then I met people at Chuy's. My birthday guests were John, Sarah, Thama, Katie H, Jane and later James. Sarah got me "The Idiot's Guide to Dating." This was a result of my laments over not understanding all the ways of dating. (See earlier blog.) A nearby waiter put out the creep vibe by asking me why I needed that book. He said dating was easy. What a weirdo to comment on my loser-ish dating book. A polite person does not mention such things. Then at the end of the meal he came by to ask where the book was. I think he was actually trying to hit on me using the dating book as some sort of misguided segway. It sure didn't work. Maybe he should read the book.

We then went back to my house for cookie cake and funfetti cake. A dream come true! Oh yeah, and I forgot the part where Katie made me breakfast in bed. I didn't tell anyone at school that for fear that saying "My roommate made me breakfast in bed," would make me sound like a lesbian in denial. In reality, it was a super-nice gesture with nothing lesbian about it. Now I need to go to sleep so I will have patience for tutorials tomorrow. It is very hard to have a good attitude when you are forced to do tutorials on Saturdays against your will. And this is definitely against my will!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Poetic Pooping

I live with two roommates and two cats. The cats aren't mine and I don't pay much attention to them in general. When I got home from Austin on Monday, I discovered that my roommate, Katie's cat, Samantha had pooped on my TAKS workbook. Lately I have felt a lot of frustration about all the pressure put on myself and my students to pass the TAKS test. It was as if Samantha was agreeing with my disdain for TAKS. I couldn't really be mad at Samantha. I would have done the same if it were socially acceptable. Her gesture was almost poetic. Again, I wasn't mad, that is until I noticed that she had also pooped in my bed. Now, there is nothing poetic about that! Nothing!!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I have recently discovered that I don't really know how to date. What I mean is that I don't really understand all the rules and procedures.

The only real relationship I have had began after over two years of friendship. When you start dating a friend, you are automatically serious because you already know you want to be with them. You also don't have to go through the "get to know you" phase. I understand how to have the friends become more type relationship.

What I don't understand is the meeting someone and then dating them shortly after route. I have gone on a few dates with guys and it's hard to know how long it is supposed to take to figure out if you can actually be with them. I have noticed that you can sometimes figure out on the first date. Maybe you realize that no matter how nice they are, you just aren't attracted to them. Maybe they talk about their pets too much or don't leave a tip.

I went on a couple of dates with one guy but couldn't figure out what to think. He was a really strong Christian and nice guy but not dorky. But he also wasn't very fun or funny. Funny is pretty important. Life is full of crappy stuff at times and I know I need someone who can make me laugh and forget about my troubles. But there wasn't anything bad or wrong with him.

My mom, who used to simultaneously date many men in college, told me I should give the guy at least three dates to decide what I think. I definitely think one date is not enough unless it is just super obvious it won't work for one of you. There is often a lot of awkwardness and nervousness during that first date so it isn't a true representation of one's personality.

But I don't think I subscribe to my mom's theory of three dates. After two dates with the aforementioned guy, I was not dazzled. He was not someone I couldn't stop thinking about. No need to lead him on with a third, right? Also I have been told many times that I am going to marry someone amazing. I sure hope this is true. And even if it isn't apparent to everyone, I should at least think he's amazing. You can figure that out by date two, right?

And then, if you make it past date two, when it is okay to hold hands, to kiss, to say that you are officially dating, etc? It seems to be a lot more straight-forward with someone you were friends with first. I would try to look on the internet for some guidelines but I am pretty sure that the usual advice is not to have sex on the first date- wait until the third. For a Christian woman who will not be having sex until after a fabulous friend-filled wedding, this advice really sucks.

I guess I am really just going to have to figure this out as I go but I wish there was some kind of universal guidelines we could all follow. There would be no hard feelings or misunderstandings. It probably won't happen right? Maybe I should just move to India and get an arranged marriage. Then I would know what to do- you meet, get married and then have sex all on the first day. No confusion there, huh?

Friday, January 04, 2008

Watching Bethany and Matt become Mr. and Mrs. Laskey

I really should be packing for the Young Life trip I am leaving for in an hour and a half but instead I am blogging. Oh well.

So, I want to give the low-down on Matt and Bethany's wedding for those of you who did not get to go.

I got into town on the Thursday night before the wedding. Wayne arrived a few hours earlier and apparently went to David's Bridal with Amy, her mom and her fiance. I wish I could have been there for that experience. I am sure it was priceless. They picked me up and we drove from Buffalo into Canada.

In the morning Matt and Bethany picked up Wayne to attend to some wedding biznass. Later that day, Amy, Shawn and I headed to the place where the reception was being held. It was just a boring empty room at that point. No one directly affiliated with the wedding party was there when we got there. One of Bethany's uncles and his wife were there but they were as clueless as we were about how to properly transform this space to the couple's liking. We decided to set up table and put chair covers on the chairs. This took a lot longer than I would have expected. The chair covers were a bit tedious but they made everything look a lot fancier. Luckily the wedding party arrived before we had to make any further uninformed decisions.

After Wayne and I tried (unsuccessfully) to make snow angels, Amy, Shawn and I took off believing that there were clearly enough workers to handle the job. It was Amy's birthday so we went back to her house for a birthday dinner. The food was excellent and I truly enjoy her family. After my big dinner at Amy's, I went to the rehearsal dinner for Matt and Bethany's wedding. It was at this buffet place that put American buffets to shame. It was some sort of Asian restaurant but they had every kind of food you could imagine and some that you didn't want to. Here is a sample of the fare: steak, sushi, fruit tarts, something called cuttle fish that I made Wayne eat, yam flavored ice cream, salad, and raw oysters, which I set a platter of at Matt's plate. You know what they say about raw oysters.

The next morning, Amy woke up sick. This was unfortunate since she and I were the makeshift florists for the wedding later that day. Luckily, Courtney Mowatt and Amy's mom helped out. We managed to put together the bouquets in time for the wedding. Courtney drove me to the wedding and I ran into Esther Brown in front of the church. How wonderful- another Texan feeling equally ill-equipped for this winter weather. We sat together and I gave her the who's who of the guests to the best of my ability.

Bethany and Matt both looked awesome! Matt's face before she came down the aisle was very uncharacteristic. I have known Matt a long time and I have never seen such a mixture of nervousness and excitement on his face. It was very cute. And when Bethany walked down the aisle, he could barely see through his tears. Don't worry- it was a very subtle manly cry not the weeping I have seen at other weddings.

After they got hitched, they walked down the aisle to a Top Gun song- obviously Matt's choice. Then there was a long gap between wedding and reception. We went back to Amy's house to hang out. Then we went to the reception. The reception hall seemed to have magically transformed since we were there earlier that day. There were lots of white lights and some Christmasy decorations as well. When I saw that there were two lighted reindeer, I knew what must be done.

For those of you unaware of my Christmas-time hi-jinks, my friends and I like to put the lighted reindeer on people's lawns into sexual positions. It was great fun! I convinced Wayne to help me arrange them into a more "natural" position. It was pretty funny if you ask me. I also got into more reception hi-jinks with AMy's mom and sister. Someone had spelled out Matt and Bethany's initials on the gift table using fancy stones. We changed it to say, "Sex soon." Matt had waited 27 years for this. It deserved to be mentioned, right?

The food was good and I was seated with my fellow YWAMers. Bethany's brother sang a song about Bethany's food allergy. It was hilarious. It was called, "I hope they have gluten-free in Georgia." Bethany's dad told the story of Matt accidentally calling his brother, Amy's dad, to ask for his daughter's hand in marriage. So funny!

I was leaving as the bouquet was being tossed. I ran back just in time to see Courtney catch it. I was bummed that I missed out. I love going after those things for the pure competition factor.

That's most of the wedding, I think. I am sure I left out some interesting parts but this is already ridiculously long. After the wedding, Matt left his backpack of important items at his new in-laws' house. Luckily Amy, Shawn and I were on our way to the airport to drop me off. So, we met them at the airport. I ended up hanging out with them a bit before our flights. That just adds another airport to the long list I have been in with Matt. I am really excited for him. He is truly like a brother to me. I am hoping to visit the happy couple in Georgia for a few days when I go to Young Life camp there. Speaking of Young Life camp, I better get packing!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Christmas Down-low

A lot has happened in the last two weeks. This blog entry will focus on Christmas with my family in Colorado.

It was cold! I wanted to die every time I stepped outside. I really have no tolerance for cold weather after living in Texas and Hawaii. I am a big baby.

Shella and Andrew are renting a big house so there was plenty of room for the fam. They even have a basement. I have now been in several basements but they never cease to amaze me. We don't have basements in Houston.

We did a lot of shopping and chilling. It was cool to have the whole family together again. We exchanged gag gifts and I gave Celine Dion perfume. My brother traded for it and promptly sprayed it on us. How sweet!

Andrew got a blu-ray player and an enormous HD tv. It's like being at the movie theater. I got a wii for Christmas so we played that a lot. My mom actually beat my dad at tennis. It was pretty epic. She has never beat him at any sport- real or virtual. I got a lot of wii accessories for Christmas. I now have three controllers and four games. If you haven't played a wii, you need to come over. Those things are so fun!
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