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Sunday, December 11, 2005, 2:30 P.M.
Hackney Golf Mania has spilled into winter. Dad just bought a new driver and couldn't wait until the snow melted to test it. Braving the cold paid off; he loves the new club. Click the pictures at the right for an enlarged view of my Dad's winter fun.

What's Up Picture
The backswing...
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...and a "cool" finish
Friday, December 9, 2005, 9:20 A.M.
Happy Snow Day! Yesterday's early dismissal was fun. I watched movies and then got in the hot tub. Sitting in the hot tub while it was snowing was good times; but when it was time to get out, I felt pretty stupid standing in my bathing suit in the snow. Now we have an unexpected day off today! Abbi says, "Happy Snow Day!" as well. She hates her Santa suit, so she wouldn't look at the camera.

What's Up Picture Abbi in her Santa suit
Monday, December 5, 2005, 6:08 P.M.
I received a really nice surprise today! During eighth period at BMS, my principal, my friend who teaches across the hall, and two McDonald's representatives surprised me with a check. I won a MAC Grant! Only 36 were given to teachers in Indiana, so I feel very lucky to have won. I'm going to use the money to create a unit on data collection and representation. My students and I will be using Survey Monkey to create surveys. Stay tuned to JoKai.net to participate in the surveys in February 2006!

What's Up Picture
I won a MAC Grant!
Sunday, December 4, 2005, 8:51 A.M.
My concussion is a lot better. I started work on Wednesday, and it was good to get back into the normal swing. Yesterday afternoon, I sang at Bedford's Downtown Lighting. A lot of my family and friends attended. It was super cold, but fun! I'm enjoying the Christmas season. To get you into the Christmas spirit, I invite you to attend the Community Baptist Fellowship Christmas Cantata, A Great And Mighty Wonder. It will be at 10:30 A.M. and 7:00 P.M. on Sunday, December 18, at the new church located on Hwy. 58, west of BNL. See you there!

Thursday, November 24, 2005, 10:49 A.M.
Happy T-g! I had a bit of a freak accident yesterday. While upstairs at Schafer Auditorium adjusting the sound for a movie that the 6 North students were going to watch, I leaned through a window used for spotlights, in order to hear instructions from the teachers downstairs. The heavy metal window cover dislodged and slid down its track right onto my head (like a guillotine). I was pinned, but managed to free my head and get downstairs. I blacked out and was pretty confused when I awakened. Vomiting once earned me a ride to the BRMC ER, where it was determined that I have a concussion located above my right eye. (Incidentally, thatís not where I got hit; itís where my brain bonked into my skull.) They sent me home last night. Iím really OK; I just have a headache. Thanks to all my family, friends, colleagues, students, and parents of students who have called/emailed. I appreciate your concern!

Sunday, November 20, 2005, 3:36 P.M.
Purdue beat IU! I witnessed the Purdue-pounding at IU's Memorial Stadium yesterday afternoon. IU's five turnovers certainly helped Purdue give them a nice 41-14 thrashing. Ed and I had a bet over who would have the best season, and Purdue's victory put me on top! I certainly enjoyed my Outback meal. In other news, Mom and I put up the Christmas tree today while Dad golfed. I don't think I've ever decorated a Christmas tree while Dad was golfing.

What's Up Picture Hackney's Christmas Tree
Tuesday, November 15, 2005, 5:49 P.M.
I have three Miss Indiana USA links of interest to pass along. First, you can view all 51 of the 2006 Miss IN USA Contestants. Second, take a look at the 2006 Miss IN USA Award Winners. Finally, you can view more 2006 Miss IN USA competition pictures at Splendid Image. Just enter inusa for the event code. Don't forget to visit my Miss IN USA slideshow! I added it to the Fun Stuff page.

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Gown Competition
Monday, November 14, 2005, 7:06 P.M.
Miss Indiana USA was amazing! I was honored to make the Top 15 (from 51 contestants), at the competition that took place in Merrillville, Indiana, November 4-6. Some of the pictures are to the right, and you can click on them to see a Miss IN USA slideshow. (I omitted swimsuit shots because I don't want those online!) Here are the credits: swimsuit by Venus, opening number outfit by Carabella, and interview suit and gown by Adora. Sadly, I am now too old to compete in the USA system. However, I have great Miss Indiana USA memories!

What's Up Picture Swimsuit Finale
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With Bridget (Miss IN!)
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Gown Competition
What's Up Picture Before my Interview
Tuesday, November 1, 2005, 8:04 P.M.
So much has happened in the last two days! First, I have shingles. It's because of the stress I've been under and all the medication I take, but it's under control now, thanks to even more medication. Second, I am the new poster girl for CCFA's 3rd Annual Jumping Blue Beans Jump Across America. Click the link to see me in flight! Third, I auditioned for Little Theatre Of Bedford's winter musical. Hope I get a part! Finally, and most excitingly, I have FINISHED my Masters course work! Hooray! Bring on the diploma and the higher salary! Since I finished my Masters, I changed my countdown clock on the Fun Stuff page to countdown to my Florida trip (and Christmas).

Sunday, October 30, 2005, 1:04 P.M.
Lawrence County Junior Miss 2006 was a huge success! All of the contestants did a great job displaying their best selves! After all the points had been tabulated, Mitchell High School senior Leslie Harman was named the 2006 LCJM. Click here to view the winners of the category awards, the winners of the special awards, and the runners-up. Also, I made a little slideshow using some of the pictures taken this weekend. View the slideshow to share the fun! I added the slideshow link to the Fun Stuff page.

What's Up Picture Leslie wins!
Times-Mail  Photo
by Garet Cobb
Saturday, October 29, 2005, 1:20 P.M.
As choreographer for Lawrence County Junior Miss, I've spent the last five evenings with this year's 16 contestants, helping them prepare for tonight's competition. It's been exhausting, but fun! If you click on the picture to the right, you can see an enlarged version of the group shot, then you can roll your mouse over the picture to see the girls' true personalities! Check here tomorrow for results of tonight's LCJM competition.

What's Up Picture 2006 LCJM Contestants
Sunday, October 23, 2005, 2:17 P.M.
My church, Community Baptist Fellowship, has been meeting at a hotel for almost two years now. In eight weeks, we will be meeting in our own church home located just off Highway 58 East on Fellowship Drive. To christen our almost-finished church home, we as a congregation signed the floor near the altar. Our signatures will soon be covered with carpet, but we will always know they are there! They will also make a nice surprise 100 years from now when someone finds them! The pictures at the right show my signature (click the picture to see all the Hackneys' signatures), and my friend Annette. She and her husband Dave wrote the scripture quoted by Linus in A Charlie Brown Christmas, so she drew Linus's picture, too.
I my Family of Faith!

What's Up Picture Hackneys' signatures
What's Up Picture Dave & Annette's signature
The tornado sirens just sounded and scared me to death! I'm used to being in my 5th Period class when the sirens sound, so I was out of my element. I'm having a nice, relaxing Fall Break. Nothing terribly exciting has happened, but I wanted to post the pumpkin at the right. My Mom, who claims that she has no artistic ability, made this pumpkin this morning using the pumpkin carving site I added to the Fun Stuff page yesterday. I made the typical three-triangled, two-toothed-smile pumpkin, and she did this really complicated witch. Click her pumpkin to enlarge it!

What's Up Picture Mom's very complicated and well-carved virtual witch pumpkin
Thursday, October 20, 2005, 7:50 A.M.
Fall Break is here! Hooray! I sat in the sun for an hour and a half yesterday and got a tan! Any Fall Break where you can get a natural tan in southern Indiana is a good Fall Break. Too bad yesterday's sun was the only sun we'll be enjoying all weekend. I added the Carve Your Own Pumpkin web site to my Fun Stuff page this morning. A friend sent it to me, and I thought it was pretty fun, thus making it belong in the Fun Stuff.

Saturday, October 15, 2005, 11:58 A.M.
On Thursday, BMS had Mix-Up Day as a part of our annual Spirit Week. Many of the students and faculty members participated by dressing in crazy outfits. I took a picture of each 6 North student that mixed-up. Unfortunately, I can't post student pictures online, and words certainly do not do justice to the creativity displayed by my students! To the right, you can see the fancy footwear that I sported. (The sandals would light up when I walked!) Click on the picture to see my entire mixed-up outfit (and a confused Abbi).

What's Up Picture
Part of my mixed-up look
Monday, October 10, 2005, 5:54 P.M.
Ed and I are quickly becoming Lowen & Navarro groupies! He, his dad, Sam, and I all hit the road to Valparaiso yesterday afternoon. (It was a three and a half hour trip.) After a nice dinner, we went to the Chicago Street Theatre. The opening act was Ralston Bowles, and he was most entertaining. Then we got to see our favorite guys, Lowen & Navarro. Phil Parlapiano played with them as well. They played two sets, then unplugged their amps and mics and invited the audience onto the stage with them. Ed and I zoomed right up there and got good seats next to Eric Lowen. (See picture at right). Eric said hello to us, and it was most cool to be remembered! After the concert, he talked to me about a new Crohn's remedy. We purchased a CD of the concert and headed back to Bedford. We made it home by 2:30 A.M., and also made it to work at BMS less than five hours later... on a Monday, no less!

What's Up Picture Eric Lowen in Valparaiso
What's Up Picture Onstage with Lowen & Navarro
Saturday, October 8, 2005, 3:32 P.M.
Krankenhausfest was a success! Thanks so much to those of you who came. I sang eight songs, and only once did a kid put his hands over his ears! There were a lot of people at the Fairgrounds to enjoy the event. I got one of those new flashy purses with all the shiny things hanging from it. Now it's time to go to Otis Park to enjoy this beautiful fall weather!

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Singing at K-Fest
Thursday, October 6, 2005, 6:08 P.M.
Today was the day for my Pontiac Solstice test drive! I love this car! Dad emailed me a picture of a Solstice back in 2001 when it was a concept car. I knew then that I had to have one! Mine, a red automatic, is ordered and should be here in May. Click the picture at right to enlarge it and see how happy I am!

What's Up Picture Pontiac Solstice
Wednesday, October 5, 2005, 4:22 P.M.
Last night, in my attempt to avoid Masters work (which I eventually finished), I created a new Web Poll. Go register your vote!

Tuesday, October 4, 2005, 4:21 P.M.
Happy 14th Birthday, Lauren! Today was Remicade day. Yuck. I was at BRMC for five hours! There was a problem with my medication, then my blood pressure dropped during the sticks (three of them). I also spilled my water all over my hospital bed. It just wasn't my day! However, my nurse was really nice, and Mom brought me French fries. Those nice things made the whole saga much better. I came home and built a little magnetic pyramid with my new Lakeside Magnetic Construction Set to clear my head. Then I started writing my Masters research paper. (Sixty-three days until I'm a Master!) I still should be doing that right now, but I needed a break. Back to work.

Saturday, October 1, 2005, 11:45 A.M.
Hooray for October! I love fall. Hooray for Saturday, too. It's been a long week. Students received their school pictures this week, which means teachers did, too. You can view mine at the right! (Enlarge with a click!) It's a little dark because my scanner is on the blink. On the site today, I archived the summer "What's Up?" entries. You can still view them using the link at the bottom of this page.

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2005-06 picture
Thursday, September 29, 2005, 9:26 P.M.
Quarry Fest was some rip-roarin' fun! Mr. Lafferty put together a great event again this year. The weather cooperated, and it was nice to see the kids, parents, teachers, and other community members having a good time. Even Abbi attended and had some popcorn! There were many student performances in the areas of music, dance, and cheerleading. Lots of display tables were available for perusal, and included team, extracurricular, and community displays. Good times! Check out the pictures at the right, and click on them to enlarge them.

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Abbi enthusiastically eating Dad's Popcorn
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Mr. Starr striking a thoughtful pose
What's Up Picture My other friend Mr. Cobb
What's Up Picture 6 North teachers
Saturday, September 24, 2005, 2:34 P.M.
Happy Autumn, everyone! It's been a bizarre week full of ISTEP monotony, but my lovely students handled all the stress very well. I never enjoy ISTEP, and I'm glad to say it's been put to bed for another year. So we're moving toward the upcoming "fests." First, Bedford Middle School is having its annual Quarry Fest in the mall area of the school on Wednesday the 28th from 4:00-6:00. Come enjoy the event! Then on Saturday, October 8, I will be performing at the Krankenhausfest at the 4-H Pavilion from 11:30-12:00. Come be in the audience! I have more fun when people listen! American Idol didn't work out this year, but I'm still wanted for K-Fest! Hooray!

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