For the past few weeks I've been volunteering at the girls' school and I plan to continue this volunteering throughout all of Kalli's years there. I'm hoping by that point they are just so used to seeing me there that they hire me on to do something or other.

I've been mainly volunteering in Kalli's classroom and in the library. The library is TONS of fun as it is all little crafty type projects that are right up my alley. The librarian is also going to teach me to check out and in books and how to shelf so I can help more. I am the only parent volunteer in the library and honestly I love it that way. Everything is mine to do and I don't have to share.

In Kalli's classroom I do a variety of things from odd jobs for the teacher, to helping the students with projects, to helping with center times (kids break into groups to work on the things they need the most help with), to being a hall monitor during bathroom breaks and such. I love working in there even though a few of the kids are truly a handful. The hardest part though is with my own daughter. Knowing the morning routine as she does she knows as it gets closer to time for me to leave (as they head to lunch) and about an hour before that time she starts to get teary and complain of a tummy ache. By the time she is lining up for lunch she is in full crying mode. I find myself trying to ignore it and work with the other kids while also trying to tell her that she is fine and that I will see her at home when she gets there. I'm hoping that one day she will be fine with me being there and then leaving. My mom always told me to dream big.

Today while checking in at the main office of the school, the secretary asked if I would be interested in becoming a sub for the noon monitors. When one of the monitors are sick or are on vacation, they would call me to see if I was available. It would them be up to me if I wanted to work. AND they would pay me. When I did sub I would be in the lunchroom to monitor things and then I'd go out to recess with the kids to watch them and help handle things out there. I took an application and plan to fill it out tonight so that hopefully tomorrow I can drop it off down at the school's HR office. I don't know what the pay would be or how often I'd even be called, but it gives me an in at the school and also another way to help out. If nothing else it is a nice opportunity.

I remember when I was younger and we had fire drills and tornado drills. Today while I was in Kalli's class they had a drill that had me fighting back tears. Over the loud speaker we hear "we are now going into level 1 lock down". I look at the teacher and she informs me that they are doing a drill today of what to do if there was someone in the school that is a threat. At level one, all the teachers lock and close their doors.

A little while later over the loud speaker we hear, "we are now going into level 2 lock down." At this point the doors remain locked and no one is allowed in or out of the classrooms.

About 5 minutes later another announcement comes. "we are now going into level 3 lock down". At this point the teacher goes and turns all the lights off in the classroom and the kids all go into a corner that is not visible from the door. The kids are told to be completely quiet and not make any sounds. As we sit there you can hear someone in the hall and then hear someone trying to get into the room, stand there for a bit, and then move on. We all sit somewhat huddled together reminding the kids in whispers to stay silent. After a few more moments another announcement letting us know that it is all clear and that everyone did wonderfully.

The kids all had questions most asking me if there was a stranger that was out there. The teacher called them all to the front of the room and informed them that it was the secretary that was going around to make sure we were doing what we should be doing. This was practice. This was a drill so that everyone knew what to do if a stranger was to get into the school.

I had to work very hard not to cry. What kind of world is this that we have to have these drills? What are we sending are kids out into? I wanted to pull Kalli to me at that moment and hold her there where I could keep her safe.

I know that these drills have become a necessity, but I think that it sucks that we've gotten to this point. And it is hard to see your child view this as something as common as a tornado or fire drill. I just hope that they never have to put this knowledge to use.

Now onto lighter subject....

A couple more autumn pictures to share with you as I took my dad down to my favorite area last weekend and we walked around for a bit.