Thursday, October 20, 2011

birthday luncheon!!

Today I was on cloud 9 and felt like a celebrity because I got to be the Special Guest at our birthdays with the principal luncheon.  Since the principal was gone, I got to "fill in" for her.  Talk about a dream come true!!

The set-up alone is enough to make any kid feel special.  We have 2 large tables on the stage for the luncheon, and our crafty Parent Resource Coordinator lines the tables with jumbo cupcake placemats that she designed.  My description doesn't even begin to do the table justice.  All of the students love the special cupcake they get to enjoy after they eat lunch (and I loved it too)!

During morning announcements, students were told that there would be a special guest at the birthday luncheon today.  They were talking about ME!  I was so excited that I could hardly wait for 11:50.  When the time finally rolled around, I was tempted to wear my tiara--but decided this lunch wasn't all about me.  When the Kindergarten classes came in the gym, several kiddos started yelling, "Miss Stuck!!" while pointing and waving.  I just smiled and waved.  5 and 6 year olds make me happy because they LOVE everything about the world!  Each grade level that filed in also waved and smiled.  Yep, I definitely felt like a rock star!  I commented to each birthday group how fun it was to sit on the stage because "you can see everyone in the lunchroom!"  A first grade boy said, "It's like you're up in the castle!"  Later a fifth grade girl said, "It's like being a princess!  You need your tiara on!"

We had lots of fun conversations throughout lunch.  It was hard for me to enforce the whole "you need to concentrate on eating and not talking so much" idea because I couldn't even stop talking!  The best conversations involved Halloween costume ideas, and the kiddos loved describing their costumes.  I then asked what costume they thought I should create, and here are a couple of my favorite requests.  Thank goodness I had a pencil and paper with me to record their thoughts because they are priceless!

2nd grade boy:
"You like glitter right?"  -student
"I love glitter!"  -me
"Well, why don't you be a glitter princess?  You can get a dress and pour glue on it and then sprinkle glitter all over it!"  -student

2nd grade girl:
"How about you dress up as Ms. L" (our principal).  -student
"That would be fun, but what would I wear?"  -me
"I don't know...principal clothes."  -student

"You should dress up as Queen Elizabeth since you're so big!"  -second grade girl
I wasn't quite sure how to take this suggestion...don't think she meant anything mean when she called me big!

Other costume suggestions that made my "super fun" list include The Tooth Fairy, iCarly, Princess Peach, a bag of pretzels, a candy princess, a can of Mt. Dew, and a diamond.  Kids are so darn creative!

Found out I have a LOT in common with a 4th grader and 5th grader toward the end of lunch.  Here's how that convo went:

"Miss Stuck, do you know the best way to eat pizza?  By dipping it in ranch dressing!"  -5th grader
"Ranch makes EVERYTHING taste better."  -4th grade student
"I totally agree with you!"  -me

Every day is filled with lots of moments that bring a smile to my face, but being the special guest at the birthday luncheon is definitely high up on my "must do again" list.  Is it bad for me to hope the principal has to be gone some other month on birthday luncheon day?  Because I would LOVE to fill in again for her!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bill Snyder's #1 fan

I boldly tell anyone who will listen that I'm stalking Coach Bill Snyder.  I can't help it.  There is no greater coach in college football history.  Period.  He's seriously like the Yoda of coaches, and has earned the respect of players, other coaches, the media, and the entire Wildcat Nation.  Here's what other people have to say about Coach:
  • "He isn't the coach of the year, and he isn't the coach of the decade.  He's the coach of the century."  -Barry Switzer
  • "He was the coach of the last century, and may be the coach of this century if they keep going like this."  -Brent Musburger (10/15/2011)
  • "Bringing back Bill Snyder was absolutely the right move, and at a young 72 years of age, Snyder could coach for 10-15 more years, God-willing.  With a highway to Manhattan named after him, and the stadium the Wildcats play in bearing his name, it's obvious that Bill Snyder has marked his place in history at Kansas State.  Can he do it again?  Who knows.  But the team, fans, and students believe in Kansas State football again, and that's a heck of a start."  -Mike Stanley (10/13/2011)

I don't just like Coach when he's winning.  I like him because of what he stands for as a person and a coach.  I like him for the message he sends to players about football and more importantly, about life.  Here's my favorite tweet he posted:

While "stalking Bill" has become a joke among my friends, it may seem a little creepy to those who don't know me.  No, I don't wait outside Vanier Football Complex every day hoping to get a glimpse of Bill.  I don't follow him into Hyvee for an autograph.  I'm not that bad.  But, I do take a picture of him at every home game (or enlist friends to take pics of him if I don't have tickets to a certain game).  And I yell BILL!!! every time they show him on tv.  One of my proudest moments as a Wildcat came just a couple months ago when I got Bill's autograph and had my pic taken with him at Fan Appreciation Day.  I actually had met him once before at the KSDE conference a few years ago, but that wasn't a place I could squeal and jump up and down with excitement when I met him.

Maybe "stalking Bill" is a little too creepy.  Instead, I'll just go ahead and call myself a Bill Snyder Super Fan. Coach Snyder, if you're reading this, please choose me to be your "cord carrier" for just one game.  I promise I won't talk to you...ok, I'll try really hard not to talk to you.  That would be a dream come true for this Snyder Super Fan!!

Ok, I would probably be remiss if I didn't mention K-State's #12 ranking in the AP poll!  Not bad considering they were picked to finish close to the bottom in the Big 12 preseason poll.  Plus, the Cats headed into their last 4 games as underdogs.  Check out this ESPN article called Surprising K-State up to 12th in AP poll (BH, thanks for posting this article on FB).  Coach Snyder makes me proud to be a member of the Wildcat Nation!  EMAW!!

Love this new welcome screen at!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs

Apple's website proved that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Right now this picture consumes their homepage:

I can't even find the right words to honor this mover and shaker.  So, I thought I'd share the words of others that I found inspiring.  Here's what folks had to say on Twitter:

Heaven, be prepared to be reinvented and revolutionized, the greatest genius and visionary has arrived. We will miss you. #ThankYouSteve

To think about how much influence Steve had over an entire industry is amazing. Our lives are the way they are because of him.  #RIPSteveJobs

We will miss you, Steve Jobs. Sent lovingly from my iPhone.

I hope that someday my words impact others the same way these three quotes from Steve Jobs have influenced me:

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.  Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking.  Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary.”

“Be a yardstick of quality.  Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Changing the world--Steve Jobs changed the world for the better.  In his 2005 commencment speech at Stanford, Jobs said, "You've got to find what you love."  My hope is that people move forward from this and strive to change the world for the better while doing what they love, just like Steve Jobs did.

The most amazing visual tribute to Jobs came from Jonathan Mak.  Look carefully at the right side of the apple.  Wow!

I found Jonathan's picture on his website.  Check it out!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Aunt Louise

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and I want to dedicate this blog post in loving memory of my Aunt Louise, who lost her battle with breast cancer over a year ago.  She is one of my heroes because of what she stood for.  Aunt Louise wasn't dealt an easy hand in life.  An accident left her paralyzed from the waist down when she was 18.  She successfully beat breast cancer once, only to have it return.  This was a woman who had plenty to complain about, yet I never once heard her complain.  She was one of the most selfless people I've ever met.  She loved her family dearly, counted her blessings daily, wrote amazing poetry, followed horse races, was an avid reader, and was brilliant.  Just being in the same room with Aunt Louise made me want to be a better person.  I tend to whine when things aren't going my way, but I'll think twice the next time I want to complain about something trivial, because that's not something Aunt Louise would have done.  Instead, she embraced new challenges with a smile on her face and a fierce determination to defy all odds.  I know Aunt Louise is in Heaven smiling down on the world.  Thanks, Aunt Louise, for being an amazing role model.  I love you!