Wednesday, August 6, 2014

It's That Time Again...

It is the time of year that all parents look forward is back to school time.  As a teacher, I get both excited and a little depressed when this time rolls around.  For 35 years, I've had a first day of school to get ready for, either as a student or as a teacher.  It is always exciting to shop for school supplies and have new things.  For me, it is a symbol of a fresh start I guess. My kids love school shopping too...I guess my love of office supplies have rubbed off on them. :)  Unfortunately, as they get older the list seems to get longer and much more expensive.

I'll be getting a new classroom ready this year. I'm moving back into sixth grade after a few years in seventh and eighth grades.  I think I will miss the older kids, but I am so excited to work with the sixth graders again. I started teaching in sixth grade and I truly loved the kids.  They are still innocent, and I love watching the maturing process happen over the course of the year.  This year also is a change in how we are teaching reading and language arts.  Instead of two separate classes, we will be blocking time so that we can focus on both subjects together.  I'm really looking forward to the challenge and finding new ways to make reading and language fun and relevant for the kids.  I have great partners in my department, so I am looking forward to what will come!

It seems like we just left after summer school, so getting back into school seems very rushed.  I know once everyone is back and in the swing of things, I will enjoy the year ahead.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer...sort of.

Summer is here, and I'm still at school...teaching summer school that is.  I've really got to learn to say no!  It has been a good experience and not nearly as chaotic as last year, so that is a win in my book.  The money is always good and as a fellow teacher said today, where else will I make this much in 24 days (legally I guess ;-)  The kids have been good, and I am teaching a reading class which is great.  I'm looking forward to teaching reading again next year, so this has been a really good opportunity for me.

After looking ahead at what the rest of the summer holds, time is going to fly by I think.  I have training sessions in the middle of July and we will be back in school before I know it...and I'll wonder where did summer go?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Believe it or not...

Believe it or not, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.  It has been a crazy busy few months, and I'm sorry this little blog has gotten a bit neglected.  School is wrapping up, and we only have 12.5 insane days left...everyone is to the "I'm way past done" stage of the school year, and nerves are getting mighty thin.  I'm hoping that the projects that we have planned for the next few days help to keep the roof on the building.

Life at home is just as crazy.  Three teens in one tiny house is not a great combo, and with everyone's end of the year schedules, it is becoming a bigger mad house.

Here is to summer break, lazier days, and working on projects that I choose, not that are chosen for me.  I'm ready to tackle some of the household chores which sadly get neglected during the school sorting through clothing.  Goodwill, look at...we are heading your way very soon!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Grandpa Duane

One week ago, my family lost my grandpa Duane.  At 90 years old, his body was done.  90 years of hard work, farm life, and a never quit attitude is hard on a body.  While at his funeral, the pastor made reference to the Guillain Barre Syndrome that he contracted in the 80s.  It causes paralysis that starts in the feet and legs and works its way toward the chest and arms.  It can be fatal if it reaches the lungs and heart, but thankfully it was caught before that for my grandpa.  However, the results left him without feeling in his hands and feet, which caused other problems for him.  He often couldn't feel heat or cold effects, so he suffered burns and frostbite several times.  He also had cuts get infected because of his lack of feeling, so he lost toes.  This syndrome mixed with diabetes created difficulties with simple tasks like dressing and eating, but he never quit.  He found ways to deal with the challenges of life, which in turn taught his grandkids and great-grandkids a valuable lesson about life: when life hands you lemons, make something sweet! (He had a tremendous sweet tooth...another great thing for a diabetic!)

Ironically, he was buried on my grandma's birthday.  It was really the best time, as he missed my grandma so very much after her death.  They had such a sweet love story, and I can remember staying at their house and him calling for her to come to bed.  She'd be fussing with something, getting us settled and what not, and he'd call for her.  Even when she got sick and her memory slipped in and out, he would visit her everyday in the nursing home.  He never quit, even when I could tell that it hurt him when she had bad days. I think many of us thought that he'd go sooner than he did because he missed her so much, but he held on.  I am blessed that my kids got to know him and love him the way that they did.  I wish we had been closer and could visit more often, but I know that my kids were blessed to know a great grandparent for as long as they did.

I miss him, but I know that he is better off in no pain, and he can be with his true love again.  Thinking of them happy and together makes me smile.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

An Attitude of Gratitude #6

We have three kids running around our house, and we also have three furbabies -- our Golden Retriever, Maggie, and two cats, Dewey and Sirius.  Animals have a way of making you feel happy... cats who curl up, contently purring in your lap, or a dog who moves from room to room with you, just wants to be a part of whatever you are doing.  While I could do without the dog and cat hair everywhere, I do love my pets like my own kids. I'm grateful for the companionship of animals (especially ones as good natured as mine!)

An Attitude of Gratitude #5

That picture says a lot about who I am. I am an Iowa girl, born and bred.  My hometown is a tiny little place in northwest Iowa, Primghar, made up of 900 good, God-fearing, hard-working people... farmers, teachers, small business owners. People who took a true interest in how others were doing and helped out their neighbors without being asked. I am so proud of where I grew up.
I'm grateful for the small town values that shaped who I am. I'm happy that both my husband and I were raised in similar towns, and we both share those small town values now while raising our kids.  While I would give anything to raise my kids in my hometown, I am blessed to share my small town values with my family.

Monday, November 4, 2013

An Attitude of Gratitude #4

Tonight has been a very long, tedious night.  I am preparing to have a sub tomorrow, which I just dread each time.  I would much rather be in my classroom sick than to have to plan for a sub to be in my room.  It is just so much work to get things ready and then find a way to explain to a stranger what my kids and I have been working on.  It is just easier to be in the room and make decisions on the fly as needed.  To make matters worse, I will be gone two days, not just one.  I have a PD day with my language arts coworkers and then will finally get into the doctor for an appointment that has been rescheduled twice.  Tonight I worked after school until 8 o'clock trying to get caught up with grading and planning in order for someone to come.  I also needed to clean off my desk...what a job!

My gratitude in all of this is that I have a job.  I don't have to worry about the hunt and the rejection that many are experiencing daily.  I enjoy the people that I work team can always make me laugh when I am feeling down.  Sometimes it just takes a look and we know what each other is thinking...that is a rare thing.  I worked so hard to get back into teaching after being away for years with my kiddos, and then after working as an instructional assistant.  I was so discouraged for a while when it seemed that no jobs would be available.  I am blessed to work with middle school kids, even on those crazy days when they drive me nuts!  I am so happy to be working with the other teachers on my team. While I'm not sure about the future of education right now, I have to say that I'm grateful to be working where I am at this moment.

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