Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Latest Update on Mom

Hi friends!

As many of you already know, last week we learned that my mom's latest scan results showed that one of the four tumors in her brain had increased in size.  Dr. W, the oncologist in Greenville, wanted my mom to meet with Dr. A, also an oncologist, in Chapel Hill again about the next step in treatment.  Mom has met with Dr. A before about a clinical trial that is in the works at UNC and also for genetic testing.  We had the appointment today and we have made some new decisions!

First, we met with Dr. E, a neurosurgeon at UNC.  He is not 100% that the scans indicate cancer growth because sometimes after radiation, the brain gets "radiation dump" and can swell... Yes, even a year after gamma knife (in fact, even up to 2 years later).  Surgery is a possibility in the future, but not needed at this time, just something to "keep in our pocket."  He is also weening her off the steroid unless she starts to show physical symptoms.

Then, we met with Dr. A, who is SO sweet!  Even though Dr. E feels pretty sure that there is not cancer growth (based on his experience), she wants to be a little more pro-active, just in case - and we fully support that decision!  We talked about a bunch of different options (some we decided to "keep in our pocket" for the time being).  What we have decided is to stop Tykerb & Xeloda (treatment for brain) and switch to Irinotecan.  It will be infusion rather than pills once a week for two weeks, off a week, repeat, repeat, repeat... The side effects are a little bit more severe, but should be manageable with other drugs.  There is also about a 40% chance she'll lose her hair :-\, but that means a 60% chance she won't!  She will stay on Herceptin (it protects the neck down) since it is doing it's job wonderfully!

In 2 months, she'll go back to UNC for scans and to meet with Dr. E and Dr. A again.  They will be in charge of her care from now on, but Dr. W will be able to administer treatments in Greenville so we won't have to travel back and forth.

In general, we are super pleased with the plan and decisions made today.  We left the hospital laughing, which I think is a great sign!  Thanks for the prayers!  We can feel God's protection!
laura ann

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Students say the darndest things!

Tomorrow is my last day student teaching!  I am so sad about this - seriously!  I'd much rather be in the classroom working with young people than talking/reading about theory and diversity.  I know that I've said it before, but I seriously loved everything about student teaching!  My students were great (most of the time, haha) and I love each of them!  I especially love their crazy comments and conversations...  For example... (by the way, this is totally anonymous!)

AP Government did a Presidential Report Card meaning that each student chose a president and gave him grades for different things (foreign diplomacy, domestic policy, general character, etc).  Then, in groups of 5 they had to nominate one president from the group to be added to Mt. Rushmore.  In one class, the nominated presidents were Jackson, Reagan, Eisenhower, Truman, Obama, and Clinton - the winner was Truman.  In the other class, the nominated presidents were Clinton, FDR, Reagan, and JFK - the winner was FDR.  One student tried to nominate Grover Cleveland, "Because we all want to see that mustache on Mt. Rushmore!"

But if that's the credential we're looking for, I think we should go with Taft.  Just sayin'.


In Civics, the students had a test on the judicial branch.  They had a short answer on court cases, which we had covered by having students act out.  When the group that acted out New Jersey vs. TLO presented, they nicknamed the main character "Tillo."  Well, I guess one of the students didn't get the memo that Tillo was short for TLO... because that's what he wrote on his test.  When we finally figured it out, we had a good laugh.

Words from the wise:
"Student: Miss Case, are you single?
Me: No, student, I'm engaged.  I'm getting married in June!
Student: Oh, well, does he have good credit?
Me:  Well, yes, he does!
StudentWell, is he rich?
Me:  Ha, no.  We're just starting out, so we're not rich at all, but he does well enough.
Student:  Well, it is better to be poor with good credit than to be rich with no credit.
Me:  Student, you are right about that.  How'd you get to be so smart?
Student:  My momma.  Does he treat his momma right?
Me:  Sure does.
Student:  That's good.  Does he treat you right?  Do you trust him?
Me: Yeah, he's a great guy.
Student:  Well that's good.  You let me know if he doesn't."


In Civics, when discussing lobbying, students had to act as lobbyists from different interest groups by giving a speech to legislators who were about to vote on a law that would require first time DUI offenders to have breathalyzers in their vehicle.  One group's spokesperson, with his best MLK imitation, started out his speech: "Since the beginning of history, America has been based on three important concepts - drinkin', drivin', and civil riiightttssss..."


AP students did current events each week during 3rd quarter.  For the assignment they had to read two articles and email the writer of one/leave a comment online.  One student decided to shoot Obama an email after the State of the Union address.  It was very well written, and included this at the end:
"P.S.  I also appreciate your clever jokes - especially the one about salmon."


When talking about current events in AP, one student remarked:
"Ms. Case, I am so serious when I say this, but when do people in Egypt sleep?"


I spent a whole day talking about propaganda.  When I got to cardstacking, I gave the example of a ShamWow commercial on YouTube.  You would have thought I had shown them the secret of life.  The class looked like this: 
So funny.


For AP's 4th quarter current event assignments, they are using Twitter.  (It is so awesome by the way).  One student tweeted Obama "@Obama, I'm curious, how does it feel to have fired more cruise missiles than any other Nobel Peace Prize winners combined?"


I'm sure that there are about a dozen other funny stories I could tell, but I just can't remember them all right now.  Maybe later.  Hopefully this will hold you over until then. :)  I sure will miss these great kids!
laura ann

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rehearsal Dinner Dress

3 post in a row. 3 post in a row. Woot. Woot.  Go girl!

Sorry about that, just a little excitement on my part.

Anyways!  Instead of a Wedding Wednesday post today, I'm going to talk about - you guessed it - my rehearsal dinner dress.  Parker & I decided to have a luau themed rehearsal/dinner just for fun.  It seemed like a really great idea at the time... and it still does, except I can't find a dress that I like!

Not completely true.  I found several that I love... only to find that they are sold out forever or cost way too much.  Way. Too. Much.

For example...
Love this!  Sold out.  Of course.

This one too.  :(

Now this one... only cost $200+.  Holy cow.

Sold out...

Sold out... or over $100... I can't remember.  So cute though.

Now this has potential... but it looks kind of like a night gown to me.

I don't particularly love this one, however it is in the price range and it is available in stores.

I guess I could go with a bright solid color... like yellow.  This is cute:

Or coral... this is cute too.

What do you think?
laura ann

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wedding Update

We are well overdue for a wedding update!  My last Wedding Wednesday was about 6 months ago and we have done A LOT since then!  Here is a "let's catch up" list:

- Booked the cake baker - Allison Phelps
- Found & ordered my dress & veil from AVA Formals
- Found & ordered bridesmaid dresses from David's Bridal
- Bought white shoes for my dress (tried to get light blue, but Mom said no)
- Ordered & put together invitations from Morgan Printers
- Booked hair appointment with Bev Mills
- Drafted ceremony programs
- Chose program attendants - the lovely Charlotte Smith & Lauren Chambers
- Finalized the guest list (about 4 different times... haha)
- Finished premarital counseling with Rev. Thompson
- Met with the wedding director for the church - Ms. Patti
- Met with Avis the wedding planner
- Finalized ceremony music
- Picked out tuxedos - from Steinbecks
- Bought wedding bands - I love them!  They came from Helzberg
- Bought bubbles, ribbon, plates, ribbon, paper, ribbon, cake topper, ribbon...
- Ordered tablecloths to check them out - from - they match the BM dresses almost perfectly!!  Anyone want 20 something 120" light blue tablecloths after June 25?
- Booked a rehearsal dinner - at Rep Express, a neat little local catering restaurant
- Mailed in engagement announcement to paper
- Details, details, details - i.e. the cutest hand painted signs, 99 mason jars, bathroom basket, grandparents & parents wedding pictures, etc.
- Booked bridal portraits - May 7th
- Bought stamps

That's all I can remember off the top of my head, but I'm sure there is more.  As of right now, it looks like we might come in under budget!  Yeah!

The wedding festivities kicked off last weekend when Charlotte & Aunt Kitty hosted a Bridesmaid Weekend at the beach in Corolla!  It was a blast and I am appreciative of that special weekend with the girls!  This past weekend, my cousin Melissa & Aunt Lisa hosted my first wedding shower and it was lovely!   The food was delicious, the guests were sweet, and the gifts were awesome!

From here on out, we have something planned/scheduled every weekend!  Amanda, my maid of honor, said that we were on the down slope and that we were diving down it.  Haha - true statement.
laura ann

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hi Blog Family!

Hey blog family!!!

I know that I've been MIA for the last few months, but I'm hoping to make a comeback!  Let's just pretend that it'll be like good friends that don't see each other that much, but can always pick up where they left off...  Sound like a plan?  Okay.  Here we go.

Between student teaching, grad school, and wedding planning, Grace Like Rain has fallen to the wayside.  My last day teaching was on Friday, so I hope to have more time for blogging.  I have loved student teaching in every way possible.  It was such a rewarding experience and it definitely confirmed that teaching is my calling.  Honestly, after hearing all the horror and stress stories, I was a little worried.  My student teaching experience has been anything but horror and stress.   It was quite the opposite.  I kept waiting for the exhaustion and stress to sink in, but it never came.  Overall, the whole thing was fantastic!  There were times that I was overwhelmed by the amount of stuff on my plate, but it never lasted that long.  My mentor teacher was wonderful.  She has been so helpful and she really allowed me to find my own style of teaching.  I know that she and I will keep in touch - she is such a good person & friend.

The students were great and my first set of classes will always hold a special place in my heart.  I had 2 AP Government classes, a study hall, and 3 Civics & Economics classes.  All the Civics classes were collaborative - one was ESL and two were EC.  What a great experience!  I laughed out loud at least once a day (often at myself), my heart broke for students in various situations, and I grew to love these kids - I will miss them so much.  I realized that I have been blessed with the talent of teaching and multitasking, and that I have a lot of conditioning to do before I can be a really, really great teacher - but, I think I'm off to a good start!

My students crack me up - I'll do a blog post with funny stories soon.  They threw a going away/good luck Ms. Case party Friday and it was a really great way to end this journey.  I still have one more week at Chapel Hill High School before I start classes back.  I would MUCH rather teach than go back to class.  Teaching/working with young people is SO much better than sitting in class.  When classes start back, I will submit a portfolio.  We will graduate in May, but then complete the program with summer session one.  So I have one more week at CHHS, finishing up the spring semester in class, graduation, 5 weeks of summer school and then I'll be moving to Greenville!  This has been a crazy (but not too stressful) ride & I am loving it!

Wedding update coming tomorrow!!
laura ann