01 February 2015

has this ever happened before?

**This is my personal blog. All opinions, thoughts and musings below are mine. If you do not agree, that is fine with me but I will not debate you here or anywhere else online. You have your rights, and I have mine.**



I cannot remember this phenomenon happening before. It is great to see and I am happy but WOW!! Never thought it could happen.

What you may ask has happened in our fair town of Newmarket, NH? We have SIX candidates running for the two 2 year positions on the school board. 

WOW!

Being on the school board is a thankless and often hated position to be in here in Newmarket. What with our facilities issues, the fact that the cost of educating the students is increasing and we have to pay teachers to do the teaching. The people who do put themselves out there and run and are elected onto the board are just asking to be harassed by the public who think that they themselves could do the job better if they were on the board (of course those people hide behind their computer monitors to complain, do not attend meetings or even run for the school board.)

I appreciate these men and women who put themselves out there in the public eye and take the brunt of trying to run our school district. I will admit that it is not a position I could do. One because I am extremely passionate about educating the children of Newmarket and do not understand why others are not of the same thinking and would have a very hard time controlling my frustrations. And second to be on the school board, I would have to give up my substituting job and my volunteering at the school. Both of which give me so much pleasure I would be miserable without being in the elementary building. 

I do support the board in their endeavors.

Until this year.

Somehow this years board has taken a few steps backward in their thinking and what they want to accomplish. Instead of looking forward on our facilities issues, they have returned to the past to once again rehash decisions that the previous boards as well as voters have decided on. Seriously- parents do not want our kids shipped out of district to receive their education. Get that through your heads. It is not an option for us. The No votes will have to accept that and the sooner they do, the sooner we can close this gap we have in our town. As a parent, if I wanted my child to go to Dover, Somersworth, Derry, Epping, Exeter, Oyster River, Portsmouth, or any other town on the seacoast, I WOULD HAVE MOVED THERE!! I chose Newmarket and want my kids to go to the school HERE. This board seems to want to appease the No votes and waste time and money funding studies to come to the same conclusion as we started the year at.

Maybe it isn't the whole board. It could have something to do with the chairperson of the school board- Gail D-Wentworth. From watching meetings, it seems that she has switched from wanting a new school in which to educate our middle school and high school students, to shipping them off for another district to deal with. Not sure of the reasons why. But her personal agenda has now become the school board's agenda and from the number of people running for the school board this year, they are as displeased with her as I am.

I have watched the meetings and watched her pack up her belongings while another board member reads a citizen's email to the board (at the end of the meeting when the room has emptied out) only to have her face seem shocked when being called out for her lack of interest in the facility issues. I have seen her ignore the passing of a beloved Newmarket teacher until another member brought it up. That one really hurts me. As the chairperson of the school board, that should have been the first words out of her mouth at that meeting.

I have sat near her during a public session of the budget committee and town council and tried to listen to the concerned citizens speaking, only to hear the low buzz of her chatting and giggling with the ladies she was sitting with. The meeting was concerning a warrant article that the school board had previously passed and wanted on the ballot about the all day kindergarten program. She as the chairperson of the school board did not get up to speak in support of this program, but almost seemed like she wanted it to fail at the stage of getting the budget committee and town council recommendations for the ballot. As soon as the issue had the recommendation of both groups, she left.

At that meeting, she was asked by a citizen sitting behind her to please be quiet to which she made a face and then promptly made a joke out of it on her Facebook page. See below.


Yes this is what our school board chairperson has done. Yes it was on her personal Facebook page, but being an elected official, as well as the chairperson of a board, puts you under greater scrutiny than the average citizen. There is no respect in this post.

I can see why the citizens of Newmarket are up in arms to get on the school board. The only concern I have now is that we have too many people running and we don't want to split the votes and risk having another year of backwards thinking. 

Welcome to the election campaign process- Craig Dionne, Kimberley Shelton, Michael Kenison, Mary Jane Hilton, Matt Eveangelista and Al Zink. There will be more discussion about the candidates in the coming days and who I think would make an excellent addition to the school board. But I will give you a hint-- the first two candidates listed.


31 January 2015

what a difference a year makes

Last year at this time the town of Newmarket was in a very heated battle. Should we build a new Junior/ Senior High School or do nothing? The town voted to do nothing. Not of course that that is a surprise for those of us who have lived here for any amount of time. You can read about the start of this debate here. To catch up on all the gory details of the fight we undertook, search this blog using the words- vote/ March 11/ Jr/ Sr High School or new school. I was quite vocal and passionate about this issue and still am to this day.

However, as the year has come and gone and we are staring at a new deliberative session, new concerns are being voiced in town. Keep funding a bus that helps the home bound elderly get around or not and should we introduce a full day kindergarten program to our school. Both seem to be items that would not be a big deal in other towns. But here in Newmarket they are very big deals. It all comes down to the bottom line and how it will impact the home owners tax bill.


This brings us to today's deliberative session.

The town portion went very quickly. So quickly in fact, hubby and I had time to grab a bite to eat before the school portion. Love that!! The only issue that was discussed was the funding of an elderly bus. Something that the town of Newmarket has been doing for a very long time. In the end, it will be on the ballot and I am pretty darn sure it will be voted on in a positive way. The total impact on my taxes for this funding?? $.01. Yes you read that correctly- one cent per $1000 of my tax bill. I think I got that.

The reason it was even a debate? The people of this town are always looking for ways to cut programs and save money. To this end, our town administrator (who does rock in this girls opinion) was trying to do whatever necessary to save money and removed this funding. Not because he doesn't like the elderly. Not because he doesn't think we need this bus. But because the town of Newmarket is already giving the entity which runs the bus a pretty substantial tax break on their properties in our town- they have two. Yes the town is federally mandated to do this as they are a non profit organization but once again the town administrator is charged with keeping us running a sound budget and he was trying to do what we as tax payers asked him to do. He was not sneaky about it. He stated to the town council where the cut was coming from and why he removed it. No one questioned it as it was a bit over $10,000 off of the budget. That always makes people happy to hear they are saving.

In the end, after numerous registered citizens came forward to speak, this warrant article will go to the voters to decide if they do in fact want to keep it when we vote on March 10, 2015. It is in your hands Newmarket.

The school portion of the deliberative session. Again so much different than last year. The bleachers were practically empty. Although there were more citizens present than had shown up for the town portion. It was nothing like it was last year. Last year, we were all squeezed into those bleachers like sardines. People were standing in line to voice their concerns about the building of a new school. It was a heated debate.

Not this year. 

Our biggest concern this year is whether to start up a full day kindergarten program in our school. To do this, the school would need to hire one full time teacher as well as four full time aides to help the kindergarten teachers. Our class sizes would be going from 13-18 to about 20-23 depending on the enrollment each year. The best part?? We could be saving money and stress in the end. Catching learning issues early on is the best thing for both the student and the school. With a full day program, these issues could be caught and dealt with sooner before the student goes to first grade and is behind before the school year even starts. Once a student is in first grade the issue has to be established, researched and a course of action taken. This could take from 3-6 months depending on the issue and how quickly it shows itself. Now the child is behind even more and will have a very hard time catching up. If they end up needing special services, that costs the tax payer money. See where I am going with this? This common sense thinking is so overrated. 

The other issue with the all day kindergarten program is our facilities issues. oh yes, those pesky facilities issues have not gone away. In fact they are even more in the fronts of our minds than they were last year. Where to put another classroom full of adorable kindergartners? It was first discussed to add another portable/ modular out in back of the school. There are those that think that is the worst idea ever in the whole world. While it not might be the best, it is not as horrible as it be made out to be. Those portables/ modulars are pretty darn nifty. They have a ton of space. More windows than any of our current classrooms have. To get in you need a key. They have air conditioning as well as room controlled heat. No freezing or hot kids. You don't have the noise of the hallways and they do have restroom facilities available. Would it be better to have a grand new addition to the elementary school to house all of the students under one roof?? oh hell yes!! But seeing as how history has continued to replay itself here in our fair town, that is not going to happen until money grows on trees and pigs fly. We cannot wait to solve our facilities issues. We have been waiting for at least the 15 years I have lived here. Always we are on the cusp of finding the answers to make it all better. I am still waiting on this cusp and I am no longer holding my breath.

To appease the strongest no voters on this issue, the school board and the kindergarten task force worked together on lowering the amount needed to start this program. With the lowering of the cost, this warrant article will not impact the taxes at all! Yes you read that correctly. Voting yes for the all day kindergarten program will not raise your taxes by anything! 

That being said- please vote yes for the all day kindergarten program in March. It is long overdue. If by some miracle we can renovate the elementary school in the future, then we will have all students out of the portables/ modulars. Until then, let us do what is right for this large population of our town and educate our youngest children all day.   

**Lots more to come here on my blog concerning the upcoming election. Lots of information to re-read and my thoughts to get out of my head.**

31 October 2014

it has been awhile

Seriously??!!
I have not posted since August?
And here it is the end of October!
oh the shame......

Quick recap since I last posted-
School started for the kids. I was volunteering in the kindergarten room (totally loving it too) when I was offered a subbing position. It was a permanent sub while the school was working out the need for aides with the students. It was going pretty good, minus the part about the house falling apart and me being stressed out. I applied for the paraprofessional position and interviewed but did not get it. Now I am back to being a regular sub with a relatively clean house and able to volunteer with my favorite students the kindergartners!

Also we took an amazingly wonderful fun filled trip to Walt Disney World!! oh my what a great time we had. Cannot wait to go back and do it all again. We did stuff we hadn't done before and probably won't do it again (Expedition Everest) and totally loved Snow White's Mine Train ride!! While we were there, we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. It seemed fitting since that is where we honeymooned all those years ago. And it was fun to share it with the kiddos.

Picture taken at Be Our Guest in the ballroom on our anniversary


Once we got back, I had a card order to make up. My yoga friend wanted some more note cards and I was more than happy to oblige. Here they are.  







I am working on a new owl card and hope to have a couple of sets of them completed by the end of the weekend that I can post. We shall see!! Hopefully I won't be gone as long as last time.

18 August 2014

disney layouts recently done

These layouts I have been working on during the month of August. I would love to say I am making headway with this trip, but alas- I am a picture taker and then cannot decide which ones to use as they are all so amazing. So I will keep on trucking along and getting these pictures into a few albums and remember all the fun we had on our Walt Disney World 2008 trip.

We met Goofy, Daisy and Donald at Camp Mickey Minnie. I am pretty sure I have already scrapped the pictures of us with Mickey and Minnie. If not they will be coming! I have used PageMaps for each of these layouts. At least all of these pages started as a PageMap. Sometimes they don't end up looking like they started but that is my jumping off point.



Kira and her Mickey head ice cream. He was wonderful until he fell on the ground. It was very hot and we kept encouraging Kira to eat a bit faster or it would fall. She was a little upset but not too bad. She enjoyed herself.


Donald did not want to let go of my girl. So cute.


Hanging around Disney's Animal Kingdom.


Gorillas at the Animal Kingdom.


Off to see what other pictures need to find their way to paper at this moment.

17 August 2014

disney disney disney (2008 trip)

And it continues!! More layouts from our 2008 Walt Disney World trip. I thought I had posted these but I seem to have forgotten to do it. They have been done for awhile, I lost track of them. I am loving doing this trip as the kids were so small!! Kira was six and Alex was two. I also notice that during this trip, I didn't get too many pictures of Alex. Probably because he spent much of the vacation in his stroller sleeping!

Lots of DCWV papers, stickers, Sizzix Sizzlits for the fonts, gems, brads, stamping, twine, Disney themed papers I picked up at Disney, punches, border punches, Mickey head scissors, and washi tapes.

Enjoy!!







09 August 2014

shameless plug

Have you started thinking about Christmas cards? 
Cards for gifts? 
Gift tags?
Teacher/ hostess gifts?

Well the holidays will be here before you know it. Now is the time to place an order with me for your handmade personalized paper crafted items. Head over to my website and see what I currently have for sale as well as examples of what I have created in the past.

Don't see what you are looking for? Please ask. I am always up for a challenge to create an item that you will fall in love with and be proud to give.

Click on the image below to get to my website.


I can be reached at my email as well as on Facebook. 
Click the image below to get to my FB.



I hope I can create something amazing for you!

08 August 2014

do you yoga?

I do.

Finally.

My friend Catrina started her yoga teacher training last year and I didn't think I could do it. Seriously. I am not the most limber or athletic of types. I have not done much moving since I broke my leg six years ago. Yet with Catrina's encouragement I have started taking yoga classes. And guess what?? I totally love it! What a great workout and a relaxing time all rolled into one! My only regret is waiting so long to take her up on her offer to teach me.

Catrina graduated at the end of July and is now a full fledged yoga teacher and amazing at that!! She asked if I could come up with some yoga themed greeting cards for her to write her clients notes on. Sure why not?! I asked her favorite colors as well as her favorite yoga poses (tree and lotus) and hit the Google Images for free images from the internet.

Below are the cards I created for her as a thank you for inspiring me to get moving as well as a congrats for completing her training!




Love, Light, and Energy is her FB page- check it out.





If you are in the market for any yoga cards (or any other type of cards for that matter) give me a shout via email and I would be more than happy to create some personalized cards for you.