Sunday, January 20, 2013

Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, Sunday, January 20, 2013

Outside my window...absolutely beautiful day! After a late arrival last week at school for icy roads, the 65 degree weather this weekend was much welcomed. We spent much of our time on Saturday outside because I know winter is not over, and we may not have a chance to be out for awhile.

I am remembering...when my babies were babies. I have not gotten rid of a single bit of the kids clothes. I finally convinced myself that it was ok to let go of it. If I have another kid, clothes can be replaced. Right? Anyway, I'm giving clothes to friends and family that are having babies, but I weeded through and kept some of the "special" clothes. Their first outfits to wear home from the hospital, Easter dresses, favorite jerseys, etc. It was a sweet time going through and remembering that stage of life that each kid wore that certain outfit in. 

I am thankful It seems like the past 2 months have just been completely full of tragic news. On top of the Connecticut shooting has been news of families that we know that lost a loved one too soon and sudden. Jeff and I witnessed a kid get hit by a car in December in front of my school. He is doing fine now, but that was the worst thing that I ever saw happen. Could have been so much worse. Things like that, though, put everything into perspective. Suddenly, my "problems" are not as much a burden when I realize how fortunate me and my family are to be together and safe.

I am creating... I bought a basic wooden doll house at a garage sale for 5 bucks yesterday. Nothing fancy. No doors or windows or anything. But I'm excited to paint it and decorate it to give Carley for her birthday. Cannot believe she will be 3 in June!

I am going... to Hot Springs, Arkansas in March. The 4 of us, along with my parents, will be going to stay in a little cabin and just play! We will go do something fun everyday, but I'm most excited about just playing outside and doing some fishing with the kids at the lake.

I am reading... I JUST started The Hobbit. I saw the movie and loved it, so I will spend the next 4 years reading it. (Lol. I hate how slow I am at reading books. If I just didn't need to sleep then this wouldn't be a problem.)

I am hoping... that this is the year of unpiling everything that has piled up on top of us from last year. Last year we got piled up with baby clothes, medical bills, and tree limbs! So our immediate plans include getting rid of all of that. Man, its going to feel good when all of it is gone. 

On my mind... my motivation behind my busy-ness. (See "Pondering these words...")

From the learning rooms...I have a super sweet class. Its been a fun year. Some of my students are about to start the Accelarated Reader program (Colin gets to start that too, in his class!) and ALL students are taking books home to read every week. 

Pondering these words... "We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ." -1 Thessalonians 1:3
From the kitchen... Jeff is planning on brewing up a mean stew tomorrow. And when all of that is gone, breakfast for dinner is in the works. I've been craving breakfast for dinner for a while!

Around the house... We will be having a garage sale here in the next few months. The goal is to raise money to get a new shed. But...because we don't have a shed (and don't have a garage) all the stuff that will go into the garage sale are piled up in our guest bedroom. So I guess that is another thing that has piled up on us. Ready for it to all go!

One of my favorite things... having Colin at the same school as me. He has done SO well this year. I wondered if he would have a hard time adjusting and if that would distract me from my job, but it has not been a problem at all. We have our little system about what he does after school when I'm still "on the clock" and its just been good. I love the little waves and whispered "I love you's" that I get in the hallway when I see him. And he is reading like crazy! I love hearing him read his book after school in my classroom. He is such a good good boy.

A picture from my album... My Carley girl got her first haircut. We only cut 2 inches, just to even it all out. But she seemed to feel pampered. She kept saying, "Wook, Mama! She's bwushin my hao!"

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A weird Monday...

I had tears in my eyes the whole way to work, my heart racing at how I should even respond on a day like today. I didn't even want to go to that place but knew I was completely responsible for making today as "normal" as possible. 

I visualized my classroom and decided I could fit every single one of my students in my bathroom if needed in an emergency. A 50+ year old bathroom that I have always complained about smelling so bad, has suddenly become a bit comforting to me.

I walk in the door holding my little boy's hand and drop him off in the cafeteria, as is our normal routine. I smile and tell him to have a good day, but I'm really wanting to just take him home and go get my baby girl at the daycare as well. I exchange looks with coworkers and administrators as I walk to my classroom. Lots of smiles and "Good morning!" exchanges. But their eyes look weary and nervous.

Its an understood sentiment among the teachers and staff that no one wants to be there, but yet at the same time, today is a day that a teacher's calling has never been felt stronger.

When 20 young children are killed just a few days before in the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, parents are upset. Teachers are upset. Some of the older students who understand what happened are upset. 

Since becoming a mother, I have grown to love interacting with my student's parents. I love parent conferences. I love seeing their faces beam with pride when I talk about their child. I even love seeing the loving look of concern when something is wrong. I love helping those parents who want to help their child but just don't know how. I know what they want to hear and how to word what they may not want to hear. But on this solemn Monday, I was hoping to avoid all parents because all of a sudden I couldn't tell them what they wanted to hear. I couldn't promise that their child was perfectly safe. I couldn't promise that I had what it took to keep 22 students from being harmed by a crazy person. 

As a teacher, you are responsible for the mass production of thriving and successful individuals. How devastating when that all comes to a screeching hault because of something that is completely out of a teachers control. 

That Monday was a wonderful day, however. We searched the school building for a "missing" gingerbread man that had run away. The secretary, nurse, librarian, custodian, etc. all played along as we asked them if they had seen our gingerbread man. Our secretary even sent me an email from the gingerbread man himself. We returned to our classroom to find the gingerbread man safe and sound and with a special gingerbread cookie snack at each seat. I've done this every year, but I cannot even explain the emotion that rose in me as we came in and my students reacted. Huge eyes, jumping and laughing, covering their mouths in disbelief that the gingerbread man came back with snacks for every one. One boy came to me and said, "This has been a weird day. But a really really great day!" I could not have said it better myself. 

I like to end my blog posts with a solution or an answer. A verse that wraps it up or something. But I've got nothing. I think I'm ok with the fact that through this tragedy I'm left with fear and humility. Yet at the same time I'm left with a confirmation of my calling to teach and an urgency to do it well.