Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Boy In Blue

It has been a cub scout frenzy this week.  Tuesday night, we hosted the den meeting. Wednesday night, Tony took Parker and Macy to the Pit Party.  Thursday night, we attended the pack meeting where Parker moved up to wolf.  (Don't ask me what that means.  I'm still trying to keep all the lingo straight.)

Then today found us at the Pinewood Derby.  As a mom, there is nothing more fun than watching your baby have a great time.  Our wolf den is large - 24 cars raced.  Watching Parker advance through the semi-finals and the finals was a blast!  Then when he came in fourth, seeing him fight back tears and congratulate the winners filled me with pride.   I want both Parker and Macy to know that they will not always bring home the win.  But that doesn't necessarily make them the loser.  It's how they handle losing that will define them as winners.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Opinion Piece

It seems to be lurking everywhere - NEGATIVITY!  Disagree with whomever or whatever and a classification is announced. "She's so negative."  The great debate has become the great conformity. I haven't met the "who" that inspired this movement that has entered our government, our workplaces, and maybe even our places of worship.  Conformity to the current belief without the exchange of ideas is truly the dumbing down of America.
Friends, I have so many hot buttons right now that I cannot shut up.  Because of the possibility of having to wear a scarlet N on my chest, I am constantly questioning whether or not to speak up.  Every time the urge to purge enters my brain, I wonder how what I want to say will be preceived.  But then a thought causes me to be silent.  There is only one thing that I want to conform to, and that is Christ.  What is right deserves a voice even when the "who" would label me a negative person.  I don't recall Jesus receiving the "Most Positive Person" award when he cleared the temple or when he debated the Pharisees.  What is right is not always popular or even positive.  "In this world, you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world!" John 16:33

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Inspired Organization

I've been LOVING iheartorganizing and abowlfulloflemons!  Tony & I had seen a DIY Lego organizer in Family Fun magazine, but these ladies take organization to a whole new level.  It has slowed me down a little bit with our lego project for Parker.  But I know when we make our final decision, all three of us are going to LOVE it.  We did take a baby step with this newest addition to Parker's room.
This type tray was actually a gift on my infamous thriteenth birthday. That is a story for another time...It never occured to me in all the 9 years that I spent looking at it on my bedroom wall that I would one day have a seven-year-old boy repurposing this for his lego collection. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Themes - for home and school

My neighbor across from my classroom home chooses a theme for her classroom every year and goes all out - NOTHING is left out from the theme including window sills, birthday presents to students, and notepads.  I'm more of a seasonal girl.  My classroom decor changes with the month except that I leave my window sills bare and my birthday presents are the same throughout the year.  Being an office supply lover, I do switch out notepads.  One of my students' favorites is our seasonal partners.  We spend the first weeks learning the proper way to get a partner.  Third graders love to act!  It begins with "(Name inserted), would you like to be my partner?"  The person addressed has to reply with a big cheesy smile and and an enthusiastic "Yes, I would love to!"  This goes on until the first day of fall.  Then I pass out a sheet with 3 fall icons.  The students mix filling up their partner card.  Sometimes I put parameters like one of their partners has to be the opposite sex.  Then I make partner posters so when we need a partner, I'll say "Find your leaf partner."  Here are my winter partner posters:

My mom is the one who started this tradition, and I like to think I kicked it up a notch! :)  Our entry way theme changes just about every month.  Depending on the month, the decorations can spread throughout the house.

I've been told it's a teacher thing.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Life IS Short

A 43-year-old mother of a 4th grader, who volunteered in my classroom, died yesterday.  No warnings.  The visitation and memorial service are on Friday. She loved her mother dearly.  She is an only, and the center of her mother's world.  Her dad works at one of my favorite stores, and even though she's left my classroom, she would occasionally bop down with a coupon and a post-it note from her mom.  She jumps out of her class's line to give me a hug, and now I will want to hold on tighter and squeeze a little bit longer.  It is never easy to let go...We waste so much of our time here - complaining, being fearful, arguing, worrying, keeping score.  We're perpetually striving to have enough, be enough.  We claim to be in the moment, but aren't we already anticipating the next one?  A loss like this knocks me down to my praying knees.  "I'm sorry.  I forget that today is my gift.  I forget to treat it kindly. I forget that today will make a memory that death cannot erase.  Let me make the memories that bring honor, and not shame to your name. Thank you for today. In Jesus Name, Amen."

Monday, January 9, 2012

First Linked Give Away

In most cases, I'm the last one to catch on but it's never too late, right?  I've seen Farley's blog on pinterest & it's fun. And not just because she is giving away a very expensive AND quiet pencil sharpener.  My techy skills have a long way to go since I couldn't figure out how to copy her cute "Currently" page.  Here's my anwers
Currently January 2012
Listening to: My Inspirational playlist on my ipod.  I hit repeat on "There's A Stirring Deep Within Me"

Loving: Both kids in bed at the same time!  It's been a rough transition back to our regular routine.

Thinking:  To Facebook or not?  It's so hard to make time for personal connections.  Are electronic ones better than none at all?

Wanting: My list is long which is unusual for me!  1) New bedroom furniture for Macy 2) A new car (Tony says minivan) 3) a flat screen TV 4) A serious camera
5) A family vacation

Needing: A techy crash course - font and tab questions

OLW: Action!

If you want to enter, here's the blog:

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Blog stalker

Over winter break, I indulged in my favorite place to window shop, pinterest. I had so much fun getting ideas for home and school that I decided to give myself a biweekly treat of pinterest time.  Yes, friends, I am OCD about scheduling things! :)  Regardless, I've found 4 blogs that are now on my favorites.  I wish there was a way to have more than one favorite list.  Mine is getting really long!  Here are my latest favorites:

Happy Browsing!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Menu Planner

We ate one of my favorite winter meals tonight - ham and beans.  But the big hit was the cornbread.  Tippin's used to be more than pies at Dierbergs.  It was a restaurant.  The two things I knew I would order was a piece of pie and anything that came with cornbread.  I've been craving Tippin's cornbread since before Christmas, and just now settled on the recipe to try. It was worth the wait, and everyone gave it two thumbs up and declared it a keeper.  You will too!  Here's the link - Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Something happens...

We had a work day today.  It was the first time ever that we have been given one when returning from a break. It was heavenly!  I know I was bemoaning my loss of home time, but I love my school time too.  Something happens when I unlock my classroom door.  I'm filled with hope.  I see the empty desks and say a quick prayer: "Use me."  Sometimes, God uses me in ways that I would rather He not.  Explosive angry students aren't my first choice.  But for some reason, I've had one the last few years.  But even in their anger, they hold a special spot in my heart.  Probably because a part of my heart aches wondering how an 8 year old could be so angry. 
Use me to help instill a love of reading.  The class has taken to applauding when I finish a book. Not because I am such a terrific reader, but because something in the story has moved them to see something in a new light.  Or maybe it's just the joy of clapping...Have you noticed that most people smile when they clap?  
Use me to encourage a coworker. Sometimes I forget to Whom I belong, and my words aren't kind or encouraging.  Forgive me and use me. 
My classroom will be full tomorrow, and the hope that God will use me encourages me to be ready for the promise of a new beginning.

Monday, January 2, 2012

I really do!

I really do love teaching, but I have to say I love being home even more!  Now, if I was a SAHM, then maybe not...I think sometimes that working makes me appreciate the time home even more.  Regardless of the why, I love the hows: how I have time to drink a cup of a coffee BEFORE my shower, how I can snuggle away the hours with Macy, who is running a fever, watching Nick Jr, how I don't have to police TV time because it's va-ca-tion, how all four of us can read together in our jammies, how I have all day to do a load of laundry, how I can listen in on Parker's lego play, how my school bag stays behind the loveseat without guilt, and how my to do list goes unwritten.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


I teach for a lot of reasons.  One being that I get to start over twice.  Once in August, and with the rest of the world in January.  Friends, I have been guilty of always talking, planning, and failing to execute.  We talk about a family vacation, but never start saving for one.  I dream of writing a book, but never write.  I wish for a more stylish wardrobe, but never risk it.  We long for date nights, but only go once a year.  We talk about a variety of lessons for the kids, but never sign up.  I want to learn to sew, but put that in the retirement segment of my life.  Parker is 2, and Macy is a newborn in their respective scrapbooks.  2012 will be my year of a little less talk, and a lot more action.  Cheers!