Friday, December 30, 2011

Day 8 - A moment

This is one of the days I did not know what to write. Even as I am writing this, I am debating what moment to write about. Seeing that I will be 40 in less than 6 months, I seen over 1,245,672,000 moments. How do you pick 1 moment from over 1.2 million of them? What moment is worthy? Do I choose a life changing moment?

Since I really don't want to agonize over just one moment, then I will list different moments that sticks out in my mind. Who knows? One or a few of them many turn into a post of its own. Now they are random. Some are funny moments, some are life changing moments, others made me sit back and ponder for awhile. Then they are others that are foggy in my mind but I know just talking to a someone will rush the moment back to the forefront.

Revisited Moments in My Mind (which are really a bunch of true moments stranded together)

  • Graduating from college
  • Knowing then confirming I was pregnant
  • Morris Brown Days (way too many to list individually)
  • Call in college my dad was in the hospital
  • The last real daddy/daughter talk with my dad
  • Call in college my mom was in the hospital 
  • My sister leaving Atlanta to move back home
  • My niece returning to Atlanta to live with me
  • Shipping her tail back to her momma
  • Performing as the only child in the Adult Dance Troupe at Karamu House for Pastor's Appreciation
  • Prom Night
  • Many Saturdays at Joe's Square Deal
  • My first kiss
  • My first home purchase
  • My second home purchase
  • The reasons/push for each purchase
  • Pledging Delta
  • Pledging Alpha Sweetheart
  • Riding the Greyhound to college
  • Going home every month my 1st semester in college
  • My 1st college boyfriend (most people don't know about that one)
  • My college sweetheart (now co-parent partner)
  • Football games in the Dome
  • Paying off my credit cards 
  • Buying my first car 
  • Buying my first car cash only
  • Baby Bandit's car crash
  • Baby Bandit's concussion, 3 sets of stitches, and rush to the hospital from a midair collision during basketball practice.
  • Picking Baby Bandit's godmother
  • Carpooling (great conversations) 
  • Falling off the jungle gym at nursery school (now called day care)
  • Teaching
  • Book club meetings
  • Retreats
  • Cruising with my family
  • San Diego
I could keep going, but I think you get the idea. There are so many moments that picking just one is way too hard! 

In case I don't post tomorrow. Have a safe New Year's Eve! 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day 7 - My Best Friend

Once again I am tempted to just link a previous post such as Supportive Friends. It talks about different friends and groups of friends, including my best friend from childhood. As an adult, I have never had a best friend. Part of the reason is because I am a person who rarely have a favorite this or best that. I like different things for different reasons; therefore, I don't have them. This is so true for friends. I am honest enough to admit various people have different purposes/reasons/meanings in one's life. For instance, I am a confidant for some, a ear and shoulder for others, a counselor, a bank, and a teacher. Depending on the the person, my role changes and vice versa.

So with that in mind. I will talk about my best friend for childhood, Melita Monique. HA! She is going to kill me for putting her government name out into the cyber world. She has gone by Nikki practically all her life. I remember her changing the spelling of her name several times but the last time was to fit into the Roxanne song when she says...The R-O-X-A-N-N-E, Roxanne is who I be. Neickkie changed her spelling and would rap her name instead of Roxanne's. Hilarious.

The following is red has been copied and pasted from Supportive Friends.

Twin - We have been friends since childhood. We were in Catholic schools together and enjoyed some many memories. She has all of my teenage secrets and know where all the bodies are buried...LOL. She has been there through many firsts - 1st basketball team, 1st boyfriend, 1st drink, 1st car, 1st heartbreak, 1st home, 1st curfew violation, and some many things I am not revealing in black and white! We did almost everything together as teenagers! Since my sisters were younger, Twin was my sister! We were together so much she had her own room at my house! However, most of the time we were in the same room. 

I can't remember when we started calling each other "Twin" but we had our stories down pack! We are 18 days apart. SO we said we were 18 minutes apart. When people ask why we did not look alike. We told the truth on that one. I said, "I look like my Daddy!" and she will say, "I look like my Momma!" LOL! That was the truth!!

I remember getting into bars and lying about our age. I think that was the only time I lied about my age. One time, the bouncer/person at the door tried to catch us. We had memorized my aunt's DOB to get into the bar when we were 18. We went in without a purse because if you have a purse, then you should have ID.  Always thinking it through. So the man at the door asked for ID.  I told him we left it in the car with our purses. He asked us to go get it. Then I said, if my twin and I go back to the car, we will get in the car to go to the bar down the street. That got him thinking. He asked what was our birthdays. I said Oct 25 and gave whatever year got us in to the bar. We always had to change the year depending on the club age requirements. Then he looked at Neickkie and asked her when was her birthday. I went off. LOL! I said if she is my twin wouldn't she have the same birthday?! If this is the caliber of guys in here, we definitely need to go to another bar. LOL!!!! I was a mess! He let us in with no problem. He kept apologizing!

I remember a time when we got into so much trouble in 9th grade. The school had us seeing the counselor once a week. We would sit and plot the stories we were going to tell her. Our "troubled ways" were being talkative and opinionated. The school was not use to little Black girls not being afraid to express ourselves anytime we felt the need. The funny thing is our "troubled ways" only caused us to get an occasional detention. We were never suspended or even being expelled. Today's teachers would love for us to be their biggest problem. Academically, I was at the top of the class. I was 1 of only 2 Black students in all honor classes and was an A student. I just very talkative and hated wearing regular shoes with the uniforms. I thought my tennis shoes were quite appropriate with the green uniform skirt!  

We don't see or talk to each other nearly as much as we want to. But when we do, it is as if we never missed a beat! Every time I go home, we talk for hours like teenagers again. Even though we live hundreds of miles apart and do not get to see each other nearly as much as we want, she is never far from my heart.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Day 6 - My Day

Since today is going to be a DHS grading papers and finalizing semester grades day (in between me playing on Twitter and Facebook), I will share what I did Monday (two days ago). I really don't like writing about my  day. It is not much different from the next person. Now, let me try to make it interesting.

Monday started my 2nd week of vacation! Boy do I need the down time to recharge! Baby Bandit's Nana, daddy, and cousin was in town. Nana loves shopping in Atlanta. So I knew we were going to hit somebody's store!

Before we hit the streets, I made a quick breakfast for everyone. Then got everyone on their separate ways. The boys left with Baby Bandit's sister to celebrate her birthday at Dave and Buster's. Nana and I hit the stores without ever going into the malls. First stop was at the shoe store to buy her Christmas present. The same heels I bought myself a few days before. Baby Bandit and my other "sons" have ban me from wearing them. I already have 2 days I KNOW I am going to wear them.

Our next stop was a beauty supply store. We went to this same one when she visited a few months ago. I don't even remember why we went in there. She is THE beautician in her town. Ironically, she did not get any products for shop. She was amazed how big it was and all the wonderful things that are in it. LOL You know how the A do. They sold everything ---hair products, weaves, wigs, hair accessories, jewelry, clothes, shoes, and make-up. You name it, it was probably in it! Nana bought three wigs. Its not like she needs them. She is just tired of her own hair. She has grown it down to the bottom of her back. I saw a few wigs I would love to sport but I need to learn how to pull/lay down this puffy stuff on top of my head.

After we left there, we hit Dots and TJ Maxx and found some deals on sweaters, shirts, jackets, and jeans. By that time, we were hungry and we were meeting some of my favorite teenagers back at the house to watch the game and hang out playing games! Next stop, the grocery store and home.

Nana fried us some more chicken. While she was doing that, I went to pick up my babies, Baby Boy and Little Girl. The boys were meeting us back at the house about the same time. While watching the Falcons game, we ate like starving ninjas. Nana had fried chicken, collards, cabbage, mac and cheese, dressing, yams,  and Mexican corn bread.

The Falcons was getting their behinds handed to them. Since I am not a true Falcons fan, I could care less about watching the game. We were suppose to play Just Dance 3 just during halftime. But once we got into it, it was after 1 o'clock when we finished. My boys are super competitive. As soon as I get a high score, the others could not sit down until they got it. The girls hold their own. I had a house full - Baby Bandit, J. Watt, Kourt, Kebren, Zee, and Baby Boy. It felt just like home. We even got the grown folks up doing the line dances. Y'all know what I am talking about- Wobble, Electric Slide, Cha Cha Slide, etc. We even film some of it. I don't think we have pictures of them from dancing but we did a ball that night!

Day 5 - My definition of Love

I am really trying to resist not writing anything and just linking the other post from the Summer on 9 Loves. In that post, I gave definitions of love and listed people and things I love. Feel free to click on the link above if you are interested in reading it.

In my opinion, love is a noun and action verb. It is something you have and something you do. There is more to love than just the romantic love we see in movies.

Love the noun - A quick definition is a strong, deep affection for someone or something.

Some of the the people and things I love
  • My son
  • The rest of my family
  • My son's other side of the family. Just because his dad and I did not work out does not mean I stop loving his family. 
  • My Atlanta family (too many to name but you all know if I share my son and/or my home with you then I am talking about you!)
  • Some of my students commonly known as my other babies. I would name them but some feelings may get hurt if they knew I love some and others I just like. 
  • My Sorors
  • Morris Brown and my Brownite family
  • Supportive Friends
  • Food
  • Reaching my goals
  • Seeing others reach goals and/or overcome situations
  • Love! Yes I love love
  • Watching drama on tv but HATE it in my life

Love the verb - Actions showing or expressing one's deep affection and connection.

Some ways to show love
  • Holding hands
  • Just being together doing nothing but having fun anyway
  • Doing something for someone else that will ease their burden
  • Doing something for someone even if you don't want to do it
  • Being honest with someone for their own good even if they will be hurt for a minute
  • Sacrificing for someone
  • Doing the little things at might not matter to most but does to the one person you are showing love to
  • Knowing someone's Love Language and operating in it. 
For those of you who are having difficulties showing love, I have some free advice. Learn how to listen. The person you love tell you all the time how to love him or her. What do they like? How do you feel love? Do those things. Google it. I am sure there are many "How to Love" articles on the web. Ask them. 

All in all. I am a hopeless romantic. So I loooovvvveeee seeing it being displayed on any level- romantic, parent/child, friends, relatives. It just make me feel all warm and fuzzy in the inside! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day 4 - What I Ate Today

Unless this post is done late at night, you can not honestly say everything you ate that day. Well, at least I can't. I am always going back into the kitchen to snack on whatever I see. So I will give you what I ate yesterday.

bacon, polish sausage, cheese eggs, and toast

Lunch: nothing (late breakfast)

Dinner: fried chicken, cabbage, collard greens, mac and cheese, yams, dressing, Mexican corn bread, and lemon danish

Today I have been way beyond lazy. I have no intentions of cooking anything. I only ate junk today. I had a chocolate chip muffin, a danish with cream cheese icing, and lemon danish. I plan to warm up the veggies left from yesterday to eat in a few.

That's all for me....Quick and easy!!!

Day 3 - My parents

I was born to.....

Starting the post like that seem so......boring and predictable. Unfortunately, I am at a lost of words on a creative way of starting it. goes.....

Like many people, I have lost one of my parents. My dad passed away when I was a sophomore in college. That particular semester was very hard for me. Literally, every month in that semester both of my parents spent time in the hospital. I even contemplating leaving school and losing my scholarship just to go home to help. My mother was not having it! When I talked to my aunt about what I was planning to do, she told me that she had that conversation with my mother already. They had made contingency plans which did not include me leaving school. Both of them guilt trip me into staying. I am glad they did!

According to my mom, I was a Daddy's girl when I was really little. (My sister right after me took that role right from me.) I remember my mom telling me when I was a teenager when she wanted a "Me Day", she would start an argument with my dad. He would leave with me in tow. We were out the whole day! I love those days. We would visit so many of my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I came from a large family, so it was not hard to be gone all day.

As I got a little older, we would go on long bike rides. I was on my ten speed and he was on his supped up one. My dad rigged his to have a radio and a make shift padding section on the back of it. On the bar, he had several towels wrapped around it. Both served as "seats" for my sister, Psycho, so she had options when we went riding.  Literally, we were gone for at least four hours. We did not ride continuously, but we were all over the place visiting people, stopping at parks, the aquarium, and Lake Erie. When I go home, it is not unusual for me to drive by some of our old spots. I have taken Baby-Bandit pass some of the spots. I have even shared sitting at the lake with him and a few friends watching the sunset one time.

I remember my dad waking me up in the wee hours of the morning. He had just came in from a party. Apparently, he had grabbed a plate out of the drain that was not clean to his satisfaction. We (meaning he) had many conversations about washing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen. So this particular night (early morning), he pulled out every dish in alllllllll the cabinets and made me wash all of them over again. I am talking about EVERY DISH  in the whole house. To add insult to injury, he stayed in the kitchen and talked to me the whole time. Just say I tuned dude out! All I wanted to do was yell, "WILL YOU SHUT UP! CAN YOU JUST GO BACK TO WHEREVER YOU JUST CAME IN FROM". But since I value my life, all that plus more were said all in my head!

When I think about my dad, I think about the conversations we had throughout the years. At random times, our conversations or time spent pops up in my head and put a smile on my face.

Fortunately for me, my mom is still here. I really wished she would move to my city. I almost had her here a few years ago, but life situations has changed her mind. I understand, even though I don't like it (as I pout every time I think about it).

My mom reminds me of my grandmother so much. I don't think I have told her how much I love and admire her for the love and sacrifice she has made over the years for us. When I was in the third grade, my mom was working at my aunt's cleaners. With three children, she knew she needed more income to raise us. She decided to return to school and earn a nursing degree. Even though the hours were long and she had 3 daughters to provide for while in school, she did it. At the time I did not realize the lesson she was showing me through her actions. But like they say, you will understand when you get older. Now as a mother, I understand how one give up their time, money, sleep, and everything else for what you think is best for your child.

The following year, my mom enrolled me into Catholic school. The public school was in the midst of a strike and I was scheduled to attend school on the other side of town. She did not think that was the best option for me; therefore, she made the necessary adjustments to pay for Catholic school. I remained in Catholic school until the middle of my tenth grade year. Then my mother finally left my father and moved us to the suburbs to a much better school system. By that time all 3 girls were in private school. So pulling us out was necessary to make ends meet. Our education did not suffer. In fact, I believe the curriculum were just a bit harder at the public school.

On a personal level, my mother never bad mouthed my dad to me. Even though I know what went down, she could have played the bitter Black woman role and dogged my day out to us. But she did not. She allowed us to come up with our own opinions of our dad. Now we know this is hard for anyone who were done wrong. Again this was another lesson I learned by example. I never talk negatively about my son's father to him or in his earshot. It is important to me to give him full access and allow them to develop their own relationship.

Even though my mother is not the oldest daughter in the family, I feel she has taken the matriarch role since my grandmother passing. About 5 years ago, she started having the Thanksgiving dinner at her home the Sunday before Thanksgiving. The dinner is huge! Up to 100 people have been to Thanksgiving dinner. It is my mom's siblings, children and grandchildren, her five children and families, her 1st cousins and their children and grandchildren and other "family" members such as our closest friends. Mom does all the cooking. She really does not want any helping because it is her way to show her love to her family. Here is a picture of just the desserts from this year's dinner.

With four daughters, you best believe there were many arguments. Mom is very good with letting us fight it out until it get out of hand. Then she steps in. Mom is real laid back until you hit that point. Got to love her for that!

I could go on but I have been working on this forever trying to give you a complete picture and realize it will never happen. My girl Oldgirl LadyLee has done many posts about my mom. I will leave some of the links. Lee always have a way to capture an experience!

New Year's 2010
Mama Bandit - Atlanta cookout

Friday, December 23, 2011

Day 2 - First Love

When I first read the challenge for today, I was not sure exactly what I wanted to share. When I did the other challenge, Day 2 also dealt with love. Instead of the first love it was on 9 Loves. I looked back at it to see what I listed as my 9 loves. I wanted to see if I wanted to write about any of those. I decided not to write about any of them.

So back to the drawing board. As I am typing I am still torn about which direction I want to go. I have 2 different ways I can go with this one. Let me ask you a few questions. When you think of your first love, do you think of a person? If so, when is it considered your first love? The first boyfriend you had way back in junior high school? The high school boyfriend? Is that puppy love? Does puppy love count? Hmmm If you say none of that count, then is it the college boyfriend? Or does it not count until you are grown and on your own?  I know too many questions! Now you see why I have been toying with what I wanted to write.

As we grow, we realize our love to love and what it means changes and deepens. I have what I considered my 1st boyfriend which is different than who my family considers my first boyfriend. During high school, I had 2 boyfriends. Even after we broke up, we remain friends. When I go home, I usually speak with them and even see them if schedules permit. During college, I had 2 boyfriends. (Now I know I just shocked many of the college friends with that one!) Again, I can pick up the phone and talk to either one. Well, I have to definitely talk to one since he is 1/2 responsible for Baby Bandit. LOL.

So with all this talk, I still have not talked about MY FIRST LOVE.

My first love is actually not a person but a thing. I fell in love with dancing at the age of 8. My mom wanted me to have something to do after school. The first year I took modern dance classes on Wednesdays. I loved it! The next year she added piano. I think I only did it for a year maybe two. However, I stayed dancing until I left for college. You could not tell me I was not going to be the next Debbie Allen.

By the time I was 11, I was teaching my own class with lesson plans and evaluations required at the end of each session. In addition, I was taking classes on my own. During the summer, I would teach up to three different classes at multiple locations throughout the city. I was so dedicated that I would catch several buses to get to some of the locations. When I had to decided between dance and basketball, I gave up basketball in order to keep dancing.

During high school, I was good enough to dance with my church's adult dance troupe. I was the only teenager allowed to dance with them. It was definitely an honor! We performed several times including dancing at the Karamu House, a historic arts center and theatre.

Once I left for college, I stopped dancing. I remember telling people I use to dance but most did not believe how much I danced. My class college roommate, Chan, knew I danced but did not realized how much until I opened up a big bag with all of my old leotards and tights. I had them in all colors - black, white, blue, red, yellow, burgundy, etc. They were from several performances.

Even though dance is not a person. However, I do miss it. I want to slim down and pick it back up. Now I don't want to hear, just do it. Um....yeah right. All of this is not going in anybody's leotard! Never gonna happen, Captain!

Day 1 - Introducing The Green Eyed Bandit

Its funny doing an introduction. At this point, I have a few faithful readers and lurkers. Many who have read a few posts dedicated about me such as 20 Facts About Me and the 10 Day Challenge I did in June and July when I started this blog. However, I am sure I will write at least one thing you did not know for sure.

How did I get the name Green Eyed Bandit? You can thank LadyLee for the name. I have been a avid reader  and stalker of her blog for years. One day she was blogging about a day we spent together and gave me the name Green Eyed Bandit. I think the name is self-explanatory. Lee hate using government names. So all of us "characters" have internet names. She has even blogged about Baby Bandit (again Lee named him). I blogged about her here under Supportive Friends

The "About Me" section on here says, " Like most women, I have many hats: mother, daughter, sister, friend, soror, and teacher. I believe most of us describe ourselves based on who we are to others. This may be the easiest way to describe ourselves but it does not always cover exactly who you are. For the sake of trying to give you me in a slightly different way, I am going to use the "hats" I wear to reintroduce myself and maybe add a little something at the end.

Mother: If you have you know me in the real world or have followed me for a nano-second, then you know I am the proud parent of a teenager, Baby Bandit (named by Oldgirl LadyLee) or Man-Child as I like to call him. Being a mother is by far the hardest job ever but so worth it! As a mother, (well this mother) I know I am responsible for raising a respectful, productive member of society. Even though I have been a teacher for a few years, I have been his teacher since he entered this world!

Like most parents, I want him to have more and do more than I did as a child. Don't get it confused. He is not spoiled with material things. However, I try to give him experiences I think will make him a well rounded young man. He has participated in many sports over the years (soccer, t-ball, baseball, basketball, football, and track). Basketball and football has been the main staples for him. He is on his school's football, basketball, and track team. As much as he loves sports, he  is more of a smart kid. The boy learned how to play chess at 4 or 5 years old by hanging out at the barber shop with his dad. I still do not know how to play. He excels in math. Many think it is because his momma is a math teacher, but he is definitely much more advance than I was at that age. That joker took AP Stats as an elective in high school. Who does that?

As a single mother, I am not alone with raising him. I am NOT a baby momma. I DON'T do all the baby momma drama. I have a good relationship with his dad. There are no bad feelings because we did not work out. I keep him informed on everything that goes on with Man-Child good or bad. I call and email all schedules and give him total access to his son. When he collided with another player and was rushed to the hospital, his dad was the first call I made in route. In addition, I make sure my son keep in contact with both sides of the family. Coming from a big family, I know the importance of family. When nobody else get you, they do.

Outside of his dad, I have plenty of friends who makes deposits into my son. Because I am not a man, I can't raise him to be a man, but I can raise him to be a good person and give him a woman's perspective on things. Since I am not a man, his male raising is handled by his dad, his biological and adopted (sorors' husbands) uncles, this mentor, his coaches, male teachers, and some of my male friends. I truly believe it takes a village!

Daughter: I am the oldest child and oldest granddaughter on my maternal side of the family. I am the typical oldest daughter. Growing up, all the housecleaning and babysitting were my responsibilities. I had the younger two so much that I was mistaken for a teenage mom all the time! They were the best birth control ever! My mom is still living but my dad passed away when I was a sophomore in college. I try to visit with my mom at least twice a year. Many years we get three or four times a year. Thanksgiving is a must. I have to go home or else! The other tradition we started is for her to spend New Year's here with me. Some times that does not happen but we try. I try to make it home during the summer or spring break but not both.

Sister: At this point, I have lived more years in a different city from my siblings than in the same one. As the oldest, I try to set an example and encourage them with however and whenever they need it. They know I am not going to sugarcoat anything. Um....that is not in my DNA! Like all sisters, we fight and make up but you better not mess with them! I am not having it! One of them lived here for a year but left when I gave her some tough love. I wished she would have stayed and stuck it out. However, I am still proud of her. She is going back to school next month to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse (just like our momma).

The baby girl is relocating here next week. That is going to be interesting. She is spoiled rotten! This move will grow her up definitely. I keep telling people you are not grown until you make it on your own! I hope I can guide her (when needed) without us killing each other! I definitely looking forward to strengthening our bond and spending time with my nephew.

The sister right under me called me on not mentioning her. Even though I told her I was giving her more print on Day 11. She was not having it! We call her Psycho. I think the name is self-explanatory. Many people see pictures of one of us and mistaken one for the other. We don't think we look that much alike but we have gotten it since we were little. I few months ago I had a picture of my 3 sisters and many people thought she was me. My current FB profile picture is of the two of us. Several people asked me if we are twins. We are not. I am almost 4 years older than her. As children, I do not think she liked me very much. I was a pretty good girl. In her eyes, I was too good. I think she made every effort to do and be exactly the opposite of me. Since we became mature adults, we have grown closer even with the 700 miles separating us. I look forward to spending time with her every time I go home!

I just noticed Day 11 is about the siblings. SOOOOOOOOOOO I will stop here.

Soror: For those who don't know, I am a proud member of the best sorority in the world Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. I pledged at Morris Brown College, GZ chapter. As a soror, I look at these ladies as real sisters. We motivate each other, hang out, support each other goals, cry, laugh and just being an all around sister to each other. I love these ladies. Our children call us aunties. We are one big family. We are active in our communities; keeping the true meaning of Delta in the forefront.

Gamma Zeta Spring 95 - Probate Night

Supporting my LS Darcova at her Book Signing Party

GZ 2011 - Supporting our Sorors at St Mtn- Lithonia Step Show

Friend - Outside of my family and sorors, I still have a host of friends - female and male. For different people I am different things. If you think about it, we all have different roles with our friends. For some a am a confidant. They tell me their deepest feelings, share their worries and dreams. For others, I am the person they can just hang to do absolutely nothing. Then for others I am that dependable friend to do whatever they need me to do. If nothing else, I am a resource. If I can't do it or don't know the answer, I know someone to handle it.
Fellow teachers but more importantly friends
Book club sisters and friends enjoying a Sunday afternoon

Friends from all periods of life celebrating my birthday a couple of years ago -
Kim - childhood/neighborhood friend,
Eric- high school classmate
Rana - adult friendship/book club sister/FFF posse member
Katrina - Line sister 2 times over/college friend

Celebrating Kim's birthday 

Book Club sisters in San Diego

Teacher - I have officially been a teacher for 2 years but I feel like I have been a teacher my whole life. I taught dance classes from age 11 to 18, I was a math tutor in college, and I was the unofficial trainer at work for 2 different companies.

Becoming a teacher has been a lifelong dream. It just took me some time to get there. I am a high school math teacher. Currently, I am teaching ninth grade math. My students are hilarious. They keep me going all the time. I have developed more of a mother relationship with a good portion of them. I hear "Momma" all the time at school. I just finished earning my master's degree in Special Education. However, I don't think I will work exclusively with special education. Education has too much paperwork. Special education takes it to a whole 'nother level! Naw,  I am good. You can give me some of the inclusion kids to teach, but you can keep the extra paperwork!

I know I love teaching because I am literally at the school 10-14 hours a day. Outside of teaching, I tutor my Einsteins, support them in their extra curricular activities (sports, band, chorus, etc) and I keep trying to find creative ways for them to learn and pass not only my class but others. I have literally made some stay after school to work on homework because I know they will not get it done at home.

So that is it! I know it is long. Hopefully you made it through this mini-book and learned something new about me.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Blog Ideas

Like many bloggers, I have a hard time coming up with ideas. I blame that on me being a math major and teacher. I am not the creative type. Therefore, coming up with ideas is a struggle. I read other blogs and get ideas and keep an eye open on ideas. As mentioned in the last post, I am going to do the 30 Day Challenge.

This morning I came up with another idea to generate posts. Daily, I read a quote from the Napoleon Hill Foundation and Black Pearls for Parents: Meditations, Affirmations, and Inspirations for African-American Parents. I usually have enough thoughts to do a posting on one or both of them. I really liked this idea!

So I think I know have more writing material to last me for a minute. If you see me on twitter or FB and I have not posted, remind me I have prompts to get me started.

What do you do to get your writing started? As one of my readers, what would you like for me to discuss/blog about?

Blog Challenge

Part of the reason I don't blog often is because I don't know what to write about. Stuff that goes on does not seem newsworthy and I am not the creative writer who can reel the people in like some of my favorite bloggers. So I tend not to blog unless I make a concrete effort to make the time to do it.

Tonight, I started looking for blog ideas on the internet and did not like the ideas I was reading. So I changed gears and started reading some of my favorite bloggers. I stopped by Bayoucreole. She has been toying with a challenge for a few months now. It is a challenge that gives her readers a better glimpse of her. I decided to jump on the band wagon. even if it is waaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy late. I saw it swarming around the internet this summer, but I knew doggone well I was not about to commit to posting daily. I suffer from self-diagnosis ADD. I get off task and bored with things quickly. If I can't get it done in my time frame, then I move on and may come back to it.

So in an effort to get posts generated and sharing who I am with my readers, I will do the 30 post challenge. I am not foolish to even think it will be a 30 day challenge. I will do well if I can get it done in 90 days. So sit back and enjoy getting to know The Green Eyed Bandit.

These are the topics that I’ll cover:

Day 01- Introduce yourself
Day 02 – Your first love
Day 03 – Your parents
Day 04 – What you ate today
Day 05 – Your definition of love
Day 06 – Your day
Day 07 – Your best friend
Day 08 – A moment
Day 09 – Your beliefs
Day 10 – What you wore today
Day 11 – Your siblings
Day 12 – What’s in your bag
Day 13 – This week
Day 14 – What you wore today
Day 15 – Your dreams
Day 16 – Your first kiss
Day 17 – Your favorite memory
Day 18 – Your favorite birthday
Day 19 – Something you regret
Day 20 – This month
Day 21 – Another moment
Day 22 – Something that upsets you
Day 23 – Something that makes you feel better
Day 24 – Something that makes you cry
Day 25 – A first
Day 26 – Your fears
Day 27 – Your favorite place
Day 28 – Something that you miss
Day 29 – Your aspirations
Day 30 – One last moment

I have covered a few of them when I did a 10 day challenge. However, I will follow the requests to these...I think. Its my blog, I have the right to change my mind! Um....Bayoucreole, please don't let me finish before you... :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

20 Facts About Me

I saw this tag on twitter and thought it would be a fun and quick post. I know it is similar to an earlier post, but here goes:

1. I am the oldest child.
2. I hold 4 licenses - teacher, realtor, insurance, and driver's license (LOL)
3. I want to live abroad for awhile.
4. I am a tomboy at heart but sometimes envy the girlie girls.
5. I love to get lost in a good book.
6. I love to WATCH drama NOT BE IN drama. Big difference!
7. I can't wait to feel like a grown up! I still have things I need to accomplish before I will feel that way.
8. I love learning from others, especially the down to earth people. They are just who they are and don't expect nothing in return.
9. I am a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc and the Order of Eastern Star.
10. I have a special passion to help our Black boys navigate through this thing call Life. They have so many things stacked against them and they don't see it.
11. I have lived more years in the South than the North/Midwest but I still consider myself a Midwest girl.
12. I love watching football and basketball, but it has been burning me out the last few years.
13. I am the best girl friend (not girlfriend/woman) for many guys. I can talk sports trash with the best of them and don't really care about changing you. I accept you for all of your craziness and can still give you a woman's point of view.
14. I love seeing my friends reaching new goals! I take pride in knowing they did it. I love celebrating in their victories.
15. I am a teacher now, but I do not think it will be my last career choice.
16. I am motivated when people doubt what I can do, especially when I know I can do it.I
17. My love languages are Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, and Acts of Service. They were all tied for 1st place.
18. I wanted to be a judge or a detective when I was a kid, but I did not have a desire to be a lawyer or police officer.
19. I am not a hair person.
20. I love brownies.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Disorganization and Procrastination

I have been off kilter for a minute. I am not really sure why or what's the problem. I don't like complaining especially if I don't know why. I really have been thinking about it since I have been on break. I realized my life has become very disorganized and I have taken procrastination to a new level. Therefore, I decided to have my goals and vision board focus on those 2 main areas. With them being the main goals, every other goal needs organization and for me not to procrastinate to achieve it.

I know I need tools to assist me in reaching my goals. Since I am a life learner, I have researched and found some useful information and resources over the years. To help me with organization, I plan to incorporate some of the core principles of FlyLady.

Her motto is you can do anything for 15 minutes. She really speaks to taking baby steps and jumping in where you are. You can not undo yesterday. Just take 15 minutes at a time and you will eventually get it done. She has routines for almost everything. There's a morning routine, evening routine, holiday season daily assignment/routine. There are step by step routines and ways to get everyone in the household involve with keeping the house in order and schedules in line. I use to subscribe to her daily emails, but I became overwhelmed. I just checked out Flylady's website. It has been redesigned but still have all the foundational  necessities.  Between Flylady and creating lists, I should be able to get organized.

Well as long as I don't....procrastinate - my other major area of improvement. Which I have been doing all day. I have been writing this blog all day. I still have not started grading papers, writing my lesson plans for the week, creating bell ringer worksheets, or   entering grades. Let alone the stuff at home like unpacking from my trip home, cleaning my room and bathroom, cooking dinner, or start cleaning out the extra bedroom. Its after 5PM, so I guess alot of it won't get done today. Well, there is always tomorrow and I can go do something for 15 minutes!

Have you started thinking about your goals for the next year? How do you combat disorganization and procrastination?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Football season officially ended for Baby Bandit yesterday. He has one more high school season. It was bitter sweet for me though. My first high school teaching experience started as a long term sub teaching primarily sophmore math classes. Well, these are my "first babies" in my book and they are seniors now. **tear** it was a tough season for my boys and it is my 1st real sense of their high school career coming to an end. Most of them do not play a winter or spring sport. Essentially, they are done playing high school ball. I did not even get a picture of them before the season was over. Every time I brought my camera to the game, they lost. I know from past experience, the boys do not want to talk let alone take some dog gone pictures. So I will settle for taking pictures with them at the banquet.

Now that football season is over, Baby Bandit has basketball tryouts on Monday. He is a little nervous because of his experiences from last year. He was even contemplating not trying out. However, I am teaching him we do not operate in fear. We had to have a heart to heart about not trying something new or doing something because he is scared of the worst possible outcome. Yes, he may not make the team. However, what do you have to lose. IF YOU DON'T TRYOUT, then you will DEFINITELY NOT MAKE THE TEAM. But if you try out, then you have a chance to make it. In his case, he has a good chance to make it. He did not make it last year, but it was a blessing in disguise. It taught him he has to go out and work hard at all times. The other lesson is you have to regroup, evaluate, and make changes. Because he did not play basketball, he did start running track to stay in shape for football and loved it! I tried to get him to do it for years.


I started this posting a few weeks ago. I just hate starting something and not finishing it. So I just decided to continue where I left off.

Baby Bandit made the basketball team. He is on JV, but has the potential to be on the Varsity. Well, if he get his grades together. He is eligible to play by the official standards for student-athletes BUT they are not up to par for GEB. I took his current grades to his coach. The coached asked him for his jersey and told him he will see him when his grades is back to my standards (nothing lower than a 85%). He went on to tell him how important grades are and how they will get him much further than his athletic ability. He had an attitude but he knows he brought it on himself. Since we are on Thanksgiving break, he has enough time to complete all of his missing assignments.  He is too smart for this foolishness. IF it is too much, then he knows what he has to give up. If time management is an issue, then he needs to ask for help. I have offered guidance but he does not want it. So he has to figure it out. The joys of the teenage years!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Vision Boards, Mission Statements, To Do Lists

This post was started in July with just a title and I never went back to finish it. I never deleted it. I just let it sit there. I guess somehow I knew I would come back to it. Over the last week or so I have been thinking about what's the next move. What do I want to accomplish in the next year. What happen to my vision board? What is my mission statement? Do I even have one? Do I need to create to-do lists?

I never have created a mission statement. It seemed so corporate. However, I started changing my mind on it when I saw one from LadyLee. She had the amazing mission statement. It touched every aspect of her life. One can tell she took time with creating, revising, and searching within herself what her mission statement means to her. I wish I could get my hands on it so you would know what I am talking about. It is a great way to strive for what she wants and continue to being who she is.

Woo Hoo...I found it. Here is her statement

I am 100% healthy in my body, soul, and spirit. I acknowledge God in all my ways, and I seek Him before I make any decisions, big or small. I am a blessing to my family and to those that God sends across my path. I am an incredible asset to my friends. I am a good listener. I am an excellent employee, and I not only work hard, but I work smart. I take time to periodically evaluate myself, and I make changes accordingly. I stick and hold fast to the path God has charted out for my life. I accept and openly welcome constructive criticism, as I know it will help me become "a better me". I am a good steward, a fine manager over the finances He has blessed me with, to the point that God knows He can trust me.

Now that is a personal mission statement! Then she proceeded to write extensively about each sentence and what it means to her. It is actually on her vision board.

Last year, I was so busy worried about others doing their vision board that I never took the time to create a new one for me. I had my senior class last year create one and they had to use math to explain how they can reach their goals/vision. For instance, if they are going to college, how much does that cost. Will you live on campus/at home/own place? Are you planning to get married or have children? Transportation? Jobs? Clothes? Food? It was interesting to see what they thought and how they were clueless about the real world. I  know some of them are getting a reality check. In addition, I helped one of my friends/sorors with her Girl Scouts troop create vision boards. The girls had some great boards!

I will need to start gathering my thoughts to create mine. I want it completed by Christmas. will be created by Christmas.

To-lists: I see the importance of them. However, like everything else. It must be done in moderation. One my line sisters have 3 ongoing lists. She has her daily list, weekly list, and annual list. I use to tease her in college because her list was sooooo detail. She would actually write down "get gas". I said you can't just look at your needle and KNOW you need gas. I asked her about it a few weeks ago. Many years later, she is still writing her lists.

I need to start a list to assist with being accountable. With me running with students all day, I notice I have alot of things slip through the crack. I know it can not be a massive list or I will get overwhelmed. I plan to have a simple list of about 10 things. I will add only after I have taken something off. I think it will definitely help me be organized.

Do you plan for small and big goals? How do you get things accomplished?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Time Flies

I just realized I only posted twice in August and none in September. I guess I have not adjusted to the new schedule as much as I like. So this is another checking in blog. I think I will do that for awhile. Nothing earth shattering or even on one topic but a bunch of a little of this and a little of that.

Football season is upon us. Baby Bandit (Man-Child) had a breakout game last week. Two interceptions, one reception touchdown, and played almost every down on offense, defense, and special team.  His confidence level has shot straight up. They are 1 - 0 and I am excited about going to the games this year. He has a little fan club now planning to show up to his games.

The start of NFL football has started. My Steelers looked horrible against the Ravens. I hope this is not a long season for us. 

School As mentioned another post, school started on August 1st. This year's students are not the same as last. I am not sure if that is good or bad. The verdict is still out. I started my last leg of my MEd on September 1st. I am doing my student-teaching in my own classroom with observations. I am done on December 22nd. Thank you Jesus!!!!

College visits Baby Bandit is not realizing time is ticking! We meaning he need to start visiting colleges and narrow down some school choices. He has the smarts to go anywhere. However, discipline and drive plays a big part too. We had a real heart to heart about what does he want and need in a school. I made him think about his high school career. What classes did he enjoy the most and why. I had him think about the differences between similar classes such as English 1, English 2, and English 3. What did he like about one class over the other. He discovered he likes smaller classes. We already know he loves his math classes. Also, he likes having discussions in class. This exercise led him to realize he need a smaller college.

He knows he wants to play sports in college. I am all for dreaming big, but I also believe in a big dose of reality. He is not the next Hines Ward, so UGA, Miami U or any other big Division 1 school is an option if he wants to play and not ride the bench. There are several factors working against him. First, he graduates at the age of 16. That is putting him 2 to 3 years younger than the typical football player entering college. Second, he is a good player, but he is not a great player. Plus, as stated earlier, he wants and needs small classes. This sounds like a HBCU is in our future. We are visiting Tuskegee later this month.

Homecoming Its that time of the year. Homecoming is just a month away. One of my roommates is coming for the 1st time ever. I am so looking forward with hanging out with her and her hubby. It is the same weekend as homecoming at the high school too. The boys already know outside of their game, don't look for me to be momma that weekend.

Delta -  I will become active this year. I am shame to say I have been inactive for years. I talked about becoming active for years. I feel guilty when I hear about or read about the work my sorors are doing. I made a life long commitment. I need to honor it!

Friends I have not spent quality time with them, but I have thought about them often. I hope they know I do miss spending quality time with them. I plan to do better.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Last Weekend - New Experiences - Quinceanera

A uneventful weekend. Just what I needed. Baby Bandit only had 2 events this weekend - Friday night football and a community service project on Saturday afternoon.

Last weekend, we were literally out late every night. He participated in a friend's quinceanera. (Click on the word for an explanation of what a quince entails.) The short explanation is a rites of passage for 15 year old Latina girls. It includes a mass service and a reception. It is similar to a bar mitzvah in the Jewish community. I was honored she asked BB to participate. Because I know the significance of this event, it lets me know her friendship with him is valuable to her. Also, he was able to experience something I would never be able to give him. We are not Hispanic; therefore, we will never have a quince in our family.

A traditional quinceanera takes alot of planning. The planning is similar to a wedding. There is a ceremony and them a reception that are very similar to a wedding. BB had to pick up his tux and rush to rehearsal right after school on Friday night. He did not make it home until after midnight. Like a wedding, the party had to be in place about an hour before the ceremony. The mass was beautiful even though we (my son and I) could not understand a word. The entire service was in Spanish. Later, I realized some of her family members do not speak English. At the reception, whenever someone spoke they said it in both Spanish and English. The reception lasted until 10PM. I left BB at the reception after being there for a couple of hours.

  I was hoping I had many pictures to share but here is one of the birthday girl and one of Baby Bandit.

It was definitely an experience he will never forget. Both Dee and her parents were very appreciative he was willing to come to all the dance rehearsals, help with setups, and just being a part in their special day. I am just glad he is building quality relationships with quality people.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What Happen to My Posts

Its has been a while. I wanted to post but I have been too tired or not enough time. If you really know me, I put things off because I let perfectionism takes over. I want to post more but I let my "expectations" get in the way. For instance, my post have to be a certain length. I need to write and critique it like it is a paper being turned in for a grade. I feel my topic is not interesting enough. Depending on the day, it could be a combination of all of them. If my blog is like the ones I read, I know my words/thoughts make people think, laugh, remind them of someone they know. If nothing else, people get some insight into who I am.

As long as I am trying to create the "perfect" post, it will take hours even days for that to happen. I think I am just going to type whatever is on my mind and keep it moving. I don't have time nor the energy to go back and forth with rewriting and creating. I am not a writer! I am just trying this out as a way to get my thoughts out. The whole diary thing never took root with me, but I love the idea of going back to read what was on my mind during any particular time. So, I think the decision has been made to write and post. As my blog fam has told me, write as if nobody is reading. It is here for those who want to read. However, it is really not about what others think but a space for me to get my thoughts out.

So on that note, I plan to post later about somethings happening in the last few weeks. But now, mommy-taxi services are needed. Man-child has community service duties in less than 30 minutes.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Long Days

Now that we have entered into a new school year, I know I will not post almost everyday. For at least the first few weeks, I will do good if I post once or twice a week. There is so much going on and I do not see the light at the end of the tunnel yet. I say yet, because there is one. It has to be!

Over the years, I have prayed and ask "Lord, deliver me from procrastination and disorganization and add some time management." Well, He is making that happen. The only way I am going to succeed this year is to have those things put in check.

With that said, I am off for a good Saturday morning break. Then I have to drop off Baby Bandit to his meetings. I have to go to school for a few hours to make sure I am prepared for the students' first day of school. I already need a vacation!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

She Shut It Down!

I just tried to read one of my daily blogs. I received the following messsage,  This blog is open to invited readers only. I was confused. I tried to access it a few more times. I was just about to send her a message but decided to check her tweets for today. There it was. She deactivated her blog account. I was hurt. I wanted to cry.

I sent her a message on Twitter. She decided to quit blogging to the masses because of a few comments were made that were out of line. She is very open and shares what is going on in her life. Her honesty and realness is what drew me. She had postings dealing with everything, including raising her son, dating, sorority events, hair, finances, and her spiritual walk. I learned so much from her and I hope I have deposited into her life as well. Our backgrounds have quite a few similarities; therefore, I can definitely relate to her in multiple ways.

My friend is the reason why I started the blog. I wanted to be able to give to others what she has given to me. She may come back to the blog world, but it will not be personal at all. It will focus on the girly things: hair and fashion.

Her decision to end her blog makes me wonder about this blog. I like writing it, but everyday I wonder if the wrong person is going to read it and take if for something it is not. One piece of advice I was given is to write like nobody is reading it but me. However, that is very hard to do. With today's developments, it makes it that much harder.

I hope my friend has a change of heart. I am really going to miss her blog. However, I truly understand. I can still follow her on twitter and send her emails. I will still be able to connect and bond.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bucket List

Do you remember the movie Bucket List from 2007 with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson? Did you ever watch it?


I never watched it from start to finish, but I have watched bits and pieces of it. For those of you who never seen or heard of it, the movie is based on two men completely different from each other in so many ways. They are cancer patients reluctantly sharing a hospital room. Freeman's character creates a bucket list but throws it away. Later, Nicholson's character finds it and insist THEY complete it together. He even adds a few to the list. Its a great feel good movie. Put it in your movie rotation.

Now why am I talking about this movie? Lately, I have heard several people talk about their bucket list. Over the last couple of years, many of my friends have taken up skydiving! Yes these people are jumping out of the sky!


Everyone have stated it is an exhilarating experience. I am not sure if I am going to pick that one up. However, based on their stories, it is a possibility!

When I think of bucket lists, I think of great experiences such as skydiving, bungy jumping, climbing Mt Everest. But the more I think about it, my bucket list is anything I wanted to accomplish before I "kicked the bucket". It does not have to mean anything to anyone else....JUST ME. A bucket list is a fancy name for listing my goals. And guess what? I have been striking things off of that list from the day I set my first goal as a little girl!

Some things off of my bucket list:
  • Going to college
  • Earning my degree
  • Buying my first car
  • Buying my first home
  • Becoming a teacher (1st childhood dream/goal/desire I can remember)
  • Going on a cruise
  • Becoming a dancer (childhood accomplishment)
  • Shooting a gun
  • Going to Barbados (childhood dream)
  • Create my own artwork 
  • Having multiple careers (insurance, real estate, and teaching)
Some things still on my bucket list:
  • Going to Vegas
  • Seeing a Broadway show
  • Earning a Master's degree (will accomplish this December)
  • Getting married
  • Traveling abroad (Australia and Africa)
  • Visiting each state
  • Visiting each country in the Western Hemisphere
  •  Teaching at a college
  • Learn to speak Spanish fluently
  • Being financially free (meaning no debt including a mortgage)
  • Salsa dancing
  • Learning how to wear make-up (Serenity can you help a sista out!)
  • Become a financial coach
Possible bucket list additions:
  • Skydiving
  • Scuba diving
  • Surfing
  • Take and complete a kick boxing class
  • Take marital arts classes
  • Become a fitness trainer
What is on your bucket list? Do you even have one? Take time to create one and then start making an effort to create the memories by doing the things on your list. 

Do you need some getting started? Google it or here are a few to give you some ideas. 
I am looking forward to reading about your lists. I might even add it to my list.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Count Your Small Blessings

Many people look at big things to make them happy: big party, a new car, a new home, a new marriage, etc. It is important to our overall well-being to take in the little things. The things many people take for granted or no longer even notice. Simple things being able to hear the birds chirping

or smelling the roses


Today, I reflected on a few things this weekend that made me smile.

1. Spending some quality time with my boys. Baby Bandit and I are watching some game shows right now. We have some of the same tv habits. We watched most of our crime shows over the weekend already. We will probably catch a movie on Netflix later today. It is too hot to run around. We are staying in and enjoying floats, ice cones, and any other cool treats we can find.

2.  Earlier today, he took the initiative to send off for more information on a few colleges that sent him emails this week. This might not seem much to do to many. However, I have been working on him about procrastination and planning ahead. For him to take the initiative is huge. On the same note, he started a conversation about using this week to get back on the school time routine. School starts a week from tomorrow. Therefore, no sleeping in late or sleeping the entire afternoon away. I made some suggestions to get him through the times his body will want to sleep. Baby steps! We are getting there.

3. Rae Rae and I spent Friday night just hanging out and catching up. We had us some homemade polish boys, watched tv, and talk. I was able to listen to what was really on her heart. We have the type of relationships where we do not have to wear masks. We are able to truly be ourselves. I learned from another one of our friends, Original Oldgirl LadyLee,  to just listen and ask questions to help the other person to reach their own answers. We are planning a girls weekend soon!

Its the small things that count. When you can appreciate the little things, God will bless you with bigger things.

I challenge you today to count your small blessings or those little things that put a smile on your face. 

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