Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am struggling to teach my first grade class math this year. I've never had a year like this before. I've worried and whined, complained and cajoled. Nothing was working. Then I made a mind change. I decided to look at what they DID know, what resources I had, and start over. Yep, end of October and I was starting over with math!

I decided to be grateful for what I had been given and make the most of it. They are curious; they love to discover and play - work with that! It was a revelation of sorts. We pulled out the tubs and have been counting and discovering. And what do you know....we are growing into mathematicians!! After only a month! Now, it's still not easy and I know I still have miles to go, but I am able to see progress and a deeper understanding. It has been a load of work on my part; not easy or pleasant. I am the one who has stretched and grown and for that I am grateful!!

I needed to be the one to learn the higher law; the one of Thanksgiving! I already had blessings - I just forgot to notice them. They are anxious to learn; I don't have to struggle alone. I hope I have learned to assess their needs more accurately, to look to MY resources, and how to swallow my pride and ask for help!!

"How wonderful it would be if we could help our children and grandchildren to learn thanksgiving at an early age. Thanksgiving opens the doors. It changes a child's personality. A child is resentful, negative-or thankful. Thankful children want to give, they radiate happiness, they draw people." ~ Sir John Templeton

I want to be a more Thankful person midst the challenges and not just after!! I'll start today!

I am grateful for.... my testimony, the Gospel, my children, family, friends, first grade students, my husband - Rich,
blogging friends and relationships, jobs, crisp weather, new blankets, football, airplanes, book group, trips, Emma-Gracie-Noah-Ariel-Hero-Jase (what great joys!), bookstores!!, Sonic, shopping, libraries, sunsets, gardens, choices, lotion, bed, lipgloss, soft socks, books!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving !!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Saying Goodbye

Saying goodbye is NOT my favorite thing to do....

As a child it meant sad airport kisses as we left daddy at the terminal gate, goodbyes to grandparents each summer vacation, and farewell to friends when we moved - again!!

I grew a bit and goodbyes still were NOT my favorite thing to do....

I sent a young man far away for two years and bid adieu to High School friends who I knew I would never see again. I said goodbye to double flips on the sidelines, size 6 jeans, stick straight hair, mini skirts, carefree days. I said goodbye to childhood.

I said goodbye to single life (okay, that was one goodbye that was not so hard!! As a matter of fact, I really scored in that department - thank you, honey!) But saying goodbye to snuggles and cuddles and baby breath was harder than I imagined. Loose teeth, feety pajamas, Saturday morning cartoons are a thing of the past now. When did I wave goodbye to them?

Today I said my goodbyes to a good friend. I stood by her bed tonight, midst tubes and machines, and told her I was there with her. Her goodbye comes too soon for us. We were not ready. I left her side, but not before tucking her grown daughter in beside her so she could sleep with mom one last night. Saying goodbye is NOT my favorite thing to do...

I am going to have to flip this coin and see the other part of goodbye. I am going to have to see the hello!! For every goodbye at the airport there was always a hello hug at the other end. I just forgot to remember it. It will take some practice this time, but I need to remember that there is a hello hug somewhere....

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Things I KNOW....

I know Halloween is supposed to be all about the kids but it's truly fun for!

I know that field trips are hard but holidays are harder as a teacher. Because of that truth, we took 100 first graders to the Children's Museum on the day before Halloween. It was great. No costumes, no class parties and the kids thought it was the "best day ever"!!! That's a direct quote! At the end of the day they are content with a treat from the teacher and we all leave tired and with a big smile.

I know relationships are worth it! All 5 of my kiddos made it to Las Vegas to celebrate their brother's wedding and a creation of a new family!!

I know that road trips are fun. But you will never catch me going across this new bridge at the Hoover Dam when it opens!! No way!!

I know that the first bite is the best! Maybe that's why fun-size candy bars are the perfect bite!

I know that I am an expert at letting time get all sucked up... by reading blogs, watching football, surfing the internet. I really have such little self control at times!

I know a good book will keep me up, deprive me of sleep and draw me in....
good books this month . . .
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull ( a book group read for October that most all enjoyed. Interesting discussions, insight and snacks to match!!)
Die For You by Lisa Unger. A first for this author for me. You would think you know the one you married. But when they take your identity and nearly your life, it makes you think about everything.
If I Stay by Gayle Forman. An accomplished cellist, a loving family, a fun snow day adventure and tragedy collide. Narrated by the main character through flashbacks and out of body observation - I found it intriguing. The push and pull of heart-rending choices.
Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison. How do you help someone recover when all is lost? Who defines who we are? How can we find value in life again? Is it by facing our fears, learning to trust? Two characters from opposite backgrounds and experiences are cast together in a small town in the Pacific Northwest where one is recrafting a life and another is ready to start a new one. Scuba diving plays a large role in this book and would be my only complaint....when it got a little technical and beyond my basic understanding I felt lost. It truly is a minor complaint though...the rest was worth the journey.

I know where to find peace.