Saturday, May 31, 2008

Laura Bush in Enterprise

We have always said and still say that we feel very fortunate to be a part of Enterprise! Since we have been here, much has happened...but God has shown Himself to us in so many ways..we and the community have went through tragedy but also have been blessed in many ways! Another exciting event happened here last Thursday night..we had the privilege of sitting through a graduation that not only honored those graduating, but honored those that would have graduated had a tornado not hit our school. Kenny got to sit on the field with her..since he is faculty of the high school..(sense my jealousy). When we found out that Laura Bush would be the guest speaker..we were not only impressed that she would take time and come, but shocked b/c we had Pres. Bush deliver a message last year and now she was coming in person. Her speech writers had done their job, b/c the speech (posted below) was very accurate and so true! The way that she personalized it and the way she stuck around to shake each graduate's hand said a lot for her character and person! She also spoke to the families of the student's who lost their lives...I wouldn't call myself a "Bush" fan, but am and have been very impressed with their actions following the March 1 tragedy...enjoy the speech below and know she touched a lot of lives that night! Thanks Laura Bush!

Mrs. Bush's Remarks in Enterprise High School Commencement Address
Enterprise High School Enterprise Alabama
May 29, 20087:50 P.M. CDT
MRS. BUSH: Thank you very much, Lydia, and congratulations on your plans to play soccer at Auburn. (Applause.)

Thanks to all of you for your very warm welcome, and for inviting me here today. President Bush was truly inspired by your community's strength and compassion during his visit last year, and he wanted me to give you his very best wishes. (Applause.)

I want to acknowledge the mayor of Enterprise, Alabama, Kenneth Boswell. Thank you, Mayor. Your First Lady and my friend, Mrs. Patsy Riley; Dr. Jim Reese, the Superintendent of Enterprise City Schools; Jimmy Holley, the Alabama State Senator from this district; Dr. Bob Phares, the Assistant Superintendent of Enterprise Schools; and your great Principal, Rick Rainer. (Applause.)

And now, of course, I especially want to recognize the Enterprise High School Class of 2008. (Applause.)

This class has had a long journey to get here. While other students in other parts of the country were worried about finding dates for dances, you were sorting through the rubble of a demolished school building. And while your peers were watching reruns of Dawson's Creek, you were mourning the loss of eight classmates, including four -- Michael, P.J., A.J., and Ryan -- who would have graduated with you today.
The class we now honor responded to these tragedies with strength and dignity that far outshone your years. You worked together to accomplish something extraordinary: the establishment of a school without a building.
This class was the first to spend an entire year on the campus of Enterprise-Ozark Community College. You crowded into 40 portable buildings in lieu of brick-and-mortar classrooms. You pushed through seven long "power days" to catch up at the beginning of last semester. And you juggled extracurricular activities haphazardly, as time and space allowed.
Some changes caused by the move were welcomed -- evidently there were no complaints about sleeping in for 11:00 a.m. classes. (Laughter.) But the hardest challenge this class faced was creating a normal high school.
Any doubts that this year's seniors were up to the task went to rest here in "The Hole," at the first football game of the season. I'm from Texas, so I understand that this would be a big event in any year. But this year it was really special. Enterprise students were back in their old stadium for the first game since the storm. It seemed that the whole town was here. And when the Wildcats came running in to open the season, everyone went wild. The Wildcats won that night, and they went on to deliver victories against Northview, Dothan, and others.
They were not the only victorious squad. The girls' soccer team made it to the final four in the state playoffs. (Applause.) The boys' soccer team was undefeated in the regular season. (Applause.) The EHS cheerleaders became national champions. (Applause.) And the girls' volleyball team set a new school record for wins. (Applause.)
Class achievements have not all been athletic. This year's senior class boasts two National Merit Scholars, one commended student, two Army All-American marching band members, and Alabama's Junior Miss. (Applause.) Members of this class will attend schools from Alabama to Auburn to West Point to Penn State.
But these achievements only scratch the surface of your class's true success: how you have come through last year's tragedy to bring positive change. As you've recovered from your losses, members of this class have played bingo with nursing home residents; you've collected donations for Habitat for Humanity; you took part in two new service organizations, like the Dream Organization, which pairs high school role models with elementary school students.
Staff at the White House asked me to express their appreciation to the Encores, who performed in the East Room of the White House last month. This group showed great bravery last year by winning the National Show Choir Championship just weeks after losing three singers. Our guests at the White House were thrilled with the Encores' performance. And White House staff is still talking about their remarkable attitude of thankfulness -- even after such a hard loss.
We celebrate all of these achievements today. And we recognize that they were not accomplished alone. Members of the Class of 2008: Today, your time at Enterprise ends in the same place where that first football game marked a senior year of moving forward. Graduating in the stadium is a cherished tradition. Many of your mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters and teachers received their diplomas in this stadium.
As you graduate tonight, take with you memories of your teachers' and classmates' support after the storm, the blue and white worn by students at rival schools, and the donations that came pouring in from around the country. Take with you memories of the great sacrifices your teachers made to create a positive learning environment, and how your families supported you in these very difficult times. Use these memories as inspiration to move forward with the same great dignity you have used and shown since last year's storm.
America will be made a better place because of the lessons you've learned as Enterprise Wildcats, and then taught the rest of our country by your good example.
Congratulations to the Enterprise High School Class of 2008. And may God bless you. (Applause.)

Friday, May 30, 2008


If you haven't heard about this, I posted the article below....As an educator, I am mortified that one of my peers used this tasteless, tacky way of "teaching tallying". Apparantely, not to be redundent with the article...she was teaching tallying, a state standard math skill, by voting on whether or not a child with special needs should stay in their class. UNBELIEVABLE! As a special education educator, I am infuriated! When and what will it take for some people to understand, these children are and will always be a part of our lives, have feelings, and should be treated as equals? I am sick and tired of hearing "your children and my children"! They are ALL our children and deserve the same respect you would give a "normal" child. And these days, what is "normal"...will someone please define that for me! B/c I have yet to figure it out! This poor child will be possibly scarred for life b/c of what his kindergarten (mind you this is one of the most influential persons in a lot of kids lives) has done to him and made him feel! And the fact that the police are not doing anything appals me..not sure if there isn't any "crime" committed..but I know there are laws of mistreating citizens with disabilities...and if this is a public school...I know it is illegal! I also saw on the news where a CHURCH voted a family out and had a RESTRAINING ORDER against them because of their autistic child and the "ruckus" he caused. He was considered to be a nusicance to the service! Yes, I said church!!!! Where we are supposed to love and respect all people! I wish for one second these people would stop and imagine for a brief moment that these were their own children and how these actions would make them feel...sorry this is a longer blog, but it breaks my heart to think society still accepts these things and that we aren't beyond this!

PORT ST. LUCIE - Melissa Barton said she is considering legal action after her son's kindergarten teacher led his classmates to vote him out of class.After each classmate was allowed to say what they didn't like about Barton's 5-year-old son, Alex, his Morningside Elementary teacher Wendy Portillo said they were going to take a vote, Barton said.By a 14 to 2 margin, the students voted Alex -- who is in the process of being diagnosed with autism -- out of the class.Melissa Barton filed a complaint with Morningside's school resource officer, who investigated the matter, Port St. Lucie Department spokeswoman Michelle Steele said. But the state attorney's office concluded the matter did not meet the criteria for emotional child abuse, so no criminal charges will be filed, Steele said.
Port St. Lucie Police no longer are investigating, but police officials are documenting the complaint, she said.Steele said the teacher confirmed the incident took place.Portillo could not be reached for comment Friday.Steele said the boy had been sent to the principal's office because of disciplinary issues. When he returned, Portillo made him go to the front of the room as a form of punishment, she said.Barton said her son is in the process of being diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a type of high-functioning autism. Alex began the testing process in February at the suggestion of Morningside Principal Marcia Cully.Children diagnosed with Asperger's often exhibit social isolation and eccentric behavior..Alex has had disciplinary issues because of his disability, Barton said. After the family moved into the area and Alex and his sibling arrived at the school in January, Alex spent much of the time in the principal's office, she said.He also had problems at his last school, but he did not have issues during his two years of preschool, Barton said.School and district officials have met with Barton and her son to create an individual education plan to address his difficulties, she said. Portillo attended these meetings, Barton said.Barton said after the vote, Portillo asked Alex how he felt."He said, 'I feel sad,' " Barton said.Alex left the classroom and spent the rest of the day in the nurse's office, she said.Barton said when she came to pick up her son at the school Wednesday, he was leaving the nurse's office."He was shaken up," she said.Barton said the nurse told her to talk with Portillo, who told her what happened.Alex hasn't been back to school since then, and Barton said he won't be returning. He starts screaming when she brings him with her to drop off his sibling at school.Thursday night, his mother heard him saying "I'm not special" over and over.Barton said Alex is reliving the incident.The other students said he was "disgusting" and "annoying," Barton said."He was incredibly upset," Barton said. "The only friend he has ever made in his life was forced to do this."St. Lucie School's spokeswoman Janice Karst said the district is investigating the incident, but could not make any further comment.Vern Melvin, Department of Children and Families circuit administrator, confirmed the agency is investigating an allegation of abuse at Morningside but said he could not elaborate

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Graduation/Memorial Day Weekend

Well, I guess you thought I fell off the face of the Earth...but I didn't..was just in Scottsboro where the convience of a cpu is not a luxury! It is a hassel to borrow an internet connection and typing on my phone just hurts my hand! So, I am back!

We had an excellent weekend home..although I am afraid there won't be many more b/c of the gas prices! Unbelievable!!!! There was a gas station in Scottsboro..and they had the cheap gas for $3.59 and you wouldn't believe the people waiting in line and how long some of them waited! Cars were lined up in the street...I am sorry, but it is a sad day in America when it comes to things like that! If it continues to rise..I will need a pay raise just to pay for gas! On a lighter note, Jessica did graduate and I was so proud of her! She looked amazing and I know was relieved to get it wasn't as hot as I had anticipated, but was hot enough. Kenny took Brylee and I to Montgomery to meet Howard (my father in law) since Kenny had to come back to work (He came in on Friday)..Brylee got car sick twice on the way home..I don't know what causes her to sometimes get sick and sometimes not..I used to think it only happened in the morning when Kenny was driving..but this was late afternoon with me driving! Does anyone have any suggestions or experiences on this? She hasn't done it since last September and it happened Wednesday..she did fine going back to Enterprise..although I did go ahead and give her benadryl for that trip (Doc suggested it for her..substitute for dramamine) While at home, Daddy decided to buy a 3 foot pool for Brylee..we all love it! Took Kenny and I a long time to put it up..but was nice once we got it up..also put a stinkin grill together only to find out the box said, "free assembly available"! Kenny got to take his nephew to the Rec Com and play ball..they had a good time and I am glad they got to spend time together...Mom and Dad's good friends George and Ann came down..we love spending time with them! They are so much fun and great cooks! Brylee loves to aggravate George and loves getting the newest "Brylee Collection" outfit from Ann! They are expecting their first grandchild...Miss Lila Jane will make her entrance soon and I can't wait to see Miss Lila Jane and Miss Brylee Jayde thought Clint and I were trouble growing haven't seen anything yet! Went to church Sunday..always love to hear Bro. Roger..great message!!! OOOOO...big news...if you haven't already heard...Laura Bush will be speaking at Enterprise Graduation..wasn't planning on going..b/c it would be so hot..Kenny has to go..faculty dresses in their gowns from their college...but now, Brylee will be staying with Amy, Chris and Dalton...and I am going as a photographer! Can't wait..word has it that the Secret Service Agents are already here scoping it out!

Well, I guess that is all for now...if I have any typos (My mom informed me I have several on previous blogs), please overlook them...I am usually up late at night typing these things and deliriously tired! Blessings to all!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I have said I am coming home Thursday ...and more on the reason has cracked me up, because 2 of you readers..assumed I am coming to make a huge announcement about being preggers! That is unbelievable..but not as unbelievable as the real reason I am coming! My baby cousing Jessica is graduating! It amazes me that she is even A.) able to walk....B.) can talk...and C.) READY TO GRADUATE!!!!! It seems like yesterday...we were helping her parents paint her room and prepare for her to come home from the hospital! So..I have a blog..I wrote on her birthday...and wanted to share it today...

Well, I just figured tomorrow 17 years ago deserves a blog. I will never forget my first cousin was born. I was 9 years old and so excited to have my first baby cousin on my daddy's side. I remember decorating at her house and waiting on her to come home from the hospital. She was such a beautiful child..dark hair and dark eyes...and now she is just as beautiful as a 17 year old. I still can't believe she is driving, much less a senior. I used to pretend she was my little sister, and would stroll her up and down Forrest Ave. trying to make her call me "Sissy"...obviously that never caught on! LOL..I only abandoned her one time in her life when she blew a gigantic bubble out of her scared me..and blamed a poot on her...I felt bad and told on myself b/c I had blamed a helpless baby. Well, I said all of this to say the following...Jessica has grown into a beautiful, self-sufficient young lady who loves her God with all of her heart! She has made me so proud and I know she has her parents too. She is truly a committed young lady and will go far in this life. She stood as a bridesmaid at my wedding and was there at the birth of Brylee....two important times in my life..and I hope I can be there for her one day...(one long day after about the age of 35) LOL ...Her birthday is tomorrow and boy, I feel old!!! HA..I love you Jessica and I am so proud of the young lady you have become!!!! she will go into the big world and become her own person..and honestly..I am so excited to see what and who she becomes and how she furthers His Kindgom through her life...b/c I know He has big things in store for her...and she has wonderful parents who have taught her how to listen to Him and follow His plan! I love you Jecca!!! And I am overly excited for you...and like I said on your comments..don't be surprised if we get the bullhorns and the cowbells out! JK

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Daddy's Surgery

Just a quick note about today...My daddy had surgery today. He had a herniated disc and had some bone spurs shaved off..sounds terrible I know..but fairly a simple procedure and should go home this afternoon..he was eating ice cream when I talked with him Thank God for watching over he and the doctors! Now, I pray for a speedy recovery for him and for him to be pain free..he has went through a lot in the past few years..and I pray that this will be a fresh beginning for him! He is such a special man and I can't say enough about him! But, here's a funny for the day...I am so relieved that he is okay..although...I am so excited that he sounds the same! They had to remove his voice box and set it aside to get to the neck! So he had no voice for a short amount of time..what if it got jiggled or something and he didn't sound the same! That was a huge concern for me! LOL :) But seriously,he did fine and I am so thankful...Just wanted to share that...and Thanks to my prayer partners...for praying for him! It means a whole lot!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Beach Weekend!!!

Well, I have to admit that I am a beach lover, but really only LOVE it when we can go and stay for days at a time..Not to big on weekend trips..but since we do live only 80 miles from PCB, we have made a few of those trips..Two of Kenny's childhood friends came down this weekend and we went and spent Sat. and Sun. with them..and I must admit..we had a blast! Brylee had so much fun! She is still talking about the beach and Ocean! We got some really cool shells and she swam her legs off! She and her daddy even buried me in the sand to my neck! The things we do for our children! We did have a wonderful time..and are home ready to knock these two weeks out! I will be traveling home Thursday...more to come on the reason why...later! :)

Friday, May 16, 2008

If Angela can do it, I can do it!

I tribute this blog to my Aunt Angela! I received an email from her that she had began a blogging I figured, if she is going to become technology savvy and share her life through blog, I believe I must step up to the plate and blog too! It has been a while..(1 reason I don't know if this will work)...I am a procrastinator and forget about things...but Mother's Day and my birthday have come and gone...I did turn 27 this year! I have always laughed at people who get depressed on their birthday...but as I awoke on May 6, I felt a little yucky..didn't want to get out of bed up...went to the bathroom to brush my teeth..looked in the mirror and CRIED! Yes..Me..Cried like a baby! Kenny, who had no idea I was crying, said "Why do you not put your dirty clothes in the hamper" and I busted out even worse! He came in to see what was wrong and I couldn't say...other than 27! See..that is the downhill from 25..that was okay..kind of a mid point..but 27 is closer to being old! After I washed my face...I was my chipper usual self for the rest of the day..and soaked up every minute of it being MY birthday! (Another trait of an only child) Mom and Dad came down for Mother's Day..I love having them here...actually we all love them coming..we look forward to their visits. Brylee is at the age where she is understanding a little more like when the leave, we won't see them for a she was physically touching one of them the whole time to make sure they were still here. She loves her Nenne and Poppa and I hate that we are so far..but at the same time, God provides opportunities and friends for her to keep her mind occupied..Highlight of the weekend!!!! My daddy got a hair cut by KENNY...mohawk to begin with and then pure cut off! I will attach pictures! Enjoy..Grilled out Sunday afternoon..churh...ate at Conestoga...(HIGHLY recommend if yo uare in Dothan)...and just relaxed and enjoyed eachother. Kenny and Brylee got me a new living room suite for all my May it!

My mother's first cousin Jane passed away today..totally unexpected. I pray for Aunt Bobbie and Uncle Bob to feel God's hand around them and to get them through this tough time...I ask you to do the same!

Well, I must go and pack..we are headed to the beach for the weekend! So lay on the sand and here the waves come crashing in! Tootles!!!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Blog # 2 :)

Just a brief note..all of my IEP's are finished! Yes..COMPLETE!!! So now that stress is off of me..I think I will just ride the rest of the year out!

Church was great today...with a little sadness..will get to that in a little bit. In SS, my heart is just always blessed by these great group of ladies in my class..we range from 19 ish to 60 ish..and wow,,,we have someone from all walks of life and that adds so much to our class. I added my friend Bethany to our prayer list..her husband is heading to Iraq and she asked me to pray for them as he is gone..and I really just hope that God will give them both a peace to help them through this tough time..I ask you the same if you are reading this! I know that my ladies will pour this out to God along with all of our other requests...Our lesson was so good and one of our "assignments" for next week is to read Psalms 139 and listen as God speaks to you about you! I pray that you will take on that assignment with me.

I'm kinda liking this blogging thing and hope that I continue...on to what I wanted to discuss yesterday and mentioned was a sad day but a day that an announcement was made that I can't be too sad, but extremely excited for this family. Our worship minister announced his resignation to the church today. He had let the choir know Wednesday..and made the emotional announcement official after church. I tell you what! I am so totally excited for him and his family, but so totally sad for us! I know that God is in control and has a plan. I also know that there are bigger and more awesome things Bro. Jamie and his family will be part of! He has accepted a call to the First Baptist Atlanta..with Dr. Charles Stanley. He will be the associate worship guy and the dean of the fine arts school. This is a family that we have grown to love and have a lot of respect for. He has taught me what true Biblical worship really is..He is such an awesome worship leader and as Bro. Billy said this morning..we couldn't keep him a secret for long! :) As he choked up a few times while making the announcement..I could see and trust that he is doing God's will and even though that may seem scary or uncertain at times..I pray for that kind of faith he showed that we wil all be okay if we ask for the Lord's will to be done! So with that being said, June 8th will be his last day with us and then the search is on. I pray for whomever God already has in store for us...and that we will be accepting to His will and that God will begin right now preparing his heart! By the way, today's choir song was unbelievable! There was so much of God's spirit in it, it was amazing...

Went to our favorite diner for lunch...Creekside...we eat there almost every Sunday! Just can't get enough of that soul food they make! Yummy..and there is this guy who works there and looks a lot like Kenny's brother, Boobie, and Brylee always wants to go eat where Boobie is! LOL..

Well, I guess that is it for today..Brylee is asleep, Kenny has went to play ball, and I believe I will just relax!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

My Very First Blog

I am very interested in this new life of blogging..I have loved using myspace to shart pics, keep up with old friends, to meet new friends and to even blog, but am ready to move up in the world and start an official Hill Family Blog. I was very hesitant about starting a blog, because I really don't think many people would or will actually care what is going on, but I so enjoy reading others and am inspired by many of my friends with blogs. So, if no one ever reads this, it will be okay, I am doing it for simple fun and to record significant events that may take place.

This weekend, Brylee and I have been by ourselves. Kenny loaded up with Coach Weeden, and Officer D and headed to Atlanta to enjoy a Hawks game last night, and watch Rhett (one of their players) play in an AAU championship game today. He is on his way home as I type and I have to say I am super excited! I do not do well by myself..I get super freaked out about being "Home Alone". It is so funny, b/c chairs were under my door knobs and you could probably see our home from the moon b/c of all the outside lights I had on! We do not live in a bad neighborhood at all or a bad town, but I always think I could be part of the 2% crime we have! ;) I also worry about getting sick and not being able to tend to Brylee, although I do not worry about that as much now due to God blessing us with so many friends in Etown! I have a list in my head that I would not hesitate to call if the need arises. I was also not too excited about the weekend he chose b/c I had so much going on, although a lot has been cancelled due to the potential bad weather. So, once again, God works it all out when we doubt Him! I have another issue I would love to discuss on here, and will soon, just not today..due to the announcement am off for now, b/c I have to get ready to go to a pageant! Woohoo! So excited, Brylee and I are going to watch MaryBeth with the Harrelson's and we are super excited! Wish MB luck and we will let you know how it goes!!!