Monday, March 2, 2015

The Teacher Cries SOL #2

I just couldn’t stop them. The trickle that started in the corner of my eye quickly became a gush as I continued. I knew it would be this way and I had warned them from the beginning this is what would happen. But they asked me to do it anyway.
It shouldn’t be this way. I should be able to control them and keep a steady strong pace.
There was a hint of what was coming in the beginning, and I told them there would be more. They said it was ok. Told me to go on. Begged me to endure.  And so I did.
Day after day. A moment here, time squeezed in at the end of the day or at quiet times. Every day for the last few weeks.
Today we were so close so we struggled through. I struggled through. They listened and watched as I swallowed and choked back the tears. I asked if they wanted me to stop, but again they begged for the finale.  They could see that it was hard for me, but knew that I too wanted it over.
“It happens every time,” I tell them. I just can’t help it, and it may happen to some of them as well. It touches me, and makes me think and feel. They will see. I explained it happened when the first time so many years before when my son and daughter were young.
I can feel them watching me, but unable to look up knowing it will only make it worse. Finally I ask for a break. I look out at them and as I suspected I see worry and care, questions, a few tears, and maybe a little fear.
It’s scary I know, to see your teacher cry. It’s just a book after all.  A book that made us think and feel, question and learn. It’s a book about a girl older than these kids, but full of fear after the loss of her parents, the heartache of a new home, no friends and the need to protect an Uncle that is thirty-five years old but has the mind of a child.
It’s called The Man Who Loved Clowns by June Rae Wood.

This teacher cries every time she reads it, and today so did some of my kids. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Before He Grows SOL 1 2015

It's finally here! March 1st and the annual Slice of Life writing challenge! I have some goals this year. Each slice will be just that a moment or piece of my day that I have chosen to write about. Not all of them will be nonfiction, but all will start with a moment of my day. 2. I will not write about just the weather, it might be embedded in my slice but it will not be the topic of my slice. 3. The slices will be personal and hopefully find me stretching my writing and thoughts more than I have in years past. In other words I will not be slicing just to slice. 4. I will comment on as many as I possibly can each day..

And so it begins... SOL #1 2015

A blanket of white has finally covered our rustic yard of this barren winter. I sit content after a satiating Sunday morning breakfast, drinking in the stillness and the quiet.  
He plays contentedly on the floor, but I can see the sleepiness creep in. A yawn. A stretch. I sit still and I wait.
He’s old enough to nap on his own now. His own bed. A warm spot on a blanket on the floor. But when he’s really tired, really contented; he searches for me. And I oblige. It won’t be long before I’m an afterthought, a memory of his youth.
I see it now. He stumbles over and touches my knee. I know it’s my lap he’s seeking for his resting spot today. My arms. I reach down and pull him to me. 
It’s been this way since he came home. Cuddle time, snuggle time, nap time is for the warmth of momma’s neck, and protection of her arms.
I know too from my others it will be gone all too soon. He will outgrow my lap and the need for our time.
So I let him rest. Stroke his downy hair and kiss his milky cheek. Just for this quite time. Just for this time before he grows beyond my lap. I am the momma and the place he chooses to rest.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Prizes Galore is Right!!

If the joy of getting to write every day with a great community of writers isn’t enough for you to join in the annual Slice of Life Writing Challenge then you should take a look at the PRIZES they will be handing out!
Yes that’s right I said PRIZES!! Oh.My.Gracious you should SEE the list. Stenhouse, Heinemann, THE DAILY FIVE  and Two Sister's blog! Wowwwzer! I am so excited! The kids’ books alone have my fingers itching to write!!
Head over to the Two Writing Teachers to find the full list, but don’t get your heart set on too many of the prizes I have dibs on some!!! HAHAHA  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I'm Going to Slice!

Saturday is the start of the annual Slice of Life writing challenge I participate in every year. I can hardly wait.  I still remember my first year and how it changed my writing life forever. I did not write every day, and it took me almost the whole month of February to figure out how to make a blog, and then half of March to get up the courage to post. I did not slice every day, but the days I did it felt good. It felt right. The next March I was full in. I sliced every day (except for the down internet days grrr.) But I did my best and I was faithful.
The writing was great, but the community was even.more. They made me feel welcome. They made me feel worthy. They made me feel like a writer. I made “for life” friends that I have never even met face to face. Michelle, Linda, Elsie, and many more have welcomed me into their writing lives, and I like it there.
That is my goal this year for the Challenge, not only to write each day, but to make others feel something about themselves or their own writing. I think it’s the comments from these women that have changed my writing life much more than just my writing.
So tonight here is my challenge to you. Join the Slice of Life Writing Challenge this March. Allow the fulfillment of personal writing into your blogging. Reach out to the community of writers that will touch your life with their worthwhile and encouraging comments about your writing. You will be glad you did, and find yourself looking forward to next March.  
Last year Stacy one of the creators of the Two Writing Teachers blog asked us to write what the Slice of Life challenge had meant to us. She was going to use it in a graduate class she was teaching (man would have loved to take that class). The other day she asked to use our quotes in  a blog post she was writing about the challenge for the Stenhouse blog. Of course I said YES! How exciting is that!! read her post here

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Great Idea (I hope) and SOL

I'm gearing up for the March Slice of Life story challenge at TWT! I'm doing my best to slice every Tuesday until March and then every day in March! You should join in and Slice too!

Next week we are having our yearly professional development day at our school. Every January we have a PD day on one Monday, and I have to say most yearsit is torture. It is a day that usually is planned by Mr. Principal or an appointed committee and most often revolves around some new state mandated rule, or team building. Every year I think ugh what a waste of my time, and as I look around I see the same look on the face of others.
But this year I (and two others) are in charge of our day. I had a whole list of ideas, but decided the best direction would be to get everyone’s idea. I sent out a survey, tallied the results, made a schedule, added food, and BAM we have our day planned. I hope that this year’s scheduled day is not the day of boredom it has been in the past. If not at least we’ll have FOOD!
I had an epiphany this weekend about writing. One of the suggestions for our PD day was to have a school wide writing curriculum. Now I know I have different ideas about writing than most of my contemporaries. For one I don’t believe writing comes from a curriculum or script. Writers come from writing, and at the end of the day that is what we all want writers, not writing Getting others to understand that is the hard part.
So this weekend I was thinking of a way we as a school could get all teachers to “teach” writing without stressing them out or telling them how to “teach” it. My mind traveled back to when we wanted our reading scores to improve, and the solution was to have a time every day for nothing but reading. Silent reading. My thought was that that was what we need for writing.  A time every day that the students write. Just write. No matter what grade, what age, just write. Conventions can be taught during language, spelling, or reading.
If every grade did this every day then when they hit fifth grade and the dreaded writing test they would already be writers (which was the complaint that got me thinking). Mr. Principal thought it was a good idea. Now it’s convincing the teachers!   
I have to leave you with a picture of my new babies. I have probably been driving my facebook friends of the cuteness of them, but I just cant help myself. My pup is Darby Augustus a redbone coonhound and the kitten is Cleatus a stray Hadley brought home. They are too sweet and the best of friends!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Focus on 2015

Things I have learned in 2014. We can get through anything together. The people I call friends and family are always there when you need them. You learn more when you listen with your whole heart. My adult children continue to amaze me and make me so proud to call them mine. Putting yourself first once in a while is ok. No matter what your age there is always room to grow and learn and change. Faith is born in actions not words and true faith is something that comes from within you, not within walls (ok I already knew this one). My husband can accomplish amazing things with a little sweat and determination (and some encouragement from me). The ones who come when called on for help will never be able to be repaid in whole, but sometimes that’s ok, they don’t do it for that.  We may not go home for a long time but when we do it’s still home and we’re still welcome. Exercise is better with a friend. 5k is a long way, but a fulfilling accomplishment. And most importantly life is too short for regrets or worry, use your hours wisely, make your days meaningful, and your years worthwhile because it could all slip away tomorrow. 
My one little word this year is Focus. Focus on the good. Focus on the worthy. Focus on being better. Focus on the now. Focus on what matters and who matters not on what or who doesn’t.
Happy New Year. My wish for you in 2015 is a year filled with blessings big and small and the focus to know that they are. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

14 in 14 Linky Party and I decided to Play Along!

I haven’t blogged in ages but my friend Kristin aka The Teeny Tiny Teacher and her buddies are having a fun linky party and since this is the day after the best Christmas ever!  I thought a party sounded fun. It’s a 14 for 14 linky party and you should party with us.

Enough said! 
Ehh that's a hard one. I am not a lover of clothes. I mean I love wearing them I'm just not a fashionista of any kind. If I had to pick I guess I'd have to say a pair a jeans I got at Maurices last summer. They're ankle length and really faded and comfy. No pictures sorry I'm not a fan of those either. 

Since I only watched about two new movies this year I guess I'd have to say A Fault In Our Stars. It was a tear jerker for sure. 

I love the new series "How To Get Away With Murder" can you hear the lady saying that as you read it? But still my all time favorite is The Good Wife. It is a must see every Sunday night even if it's late because of football, and makes me super tired on Monday! 
Well there are not a lot of choices in our big ol town but we did get a new Freddy's this past year and I have to admit I have spent my share of time there. Other than that my kids moved to Tulsa last summer and we have learned about Osaka Grill. Yummmmo. I see a trip over the break to visit it...I mean my kids. 

My friend and I tried water aerobics this past summer and for a girl that hates water I have to say it's quite fun. I've been slacking between the holidays but we have plans to go back this Monday. I have missed it. 
That would have to be my new dishwasher. My kids planned a surprise birthday party for me this year (yes it was THAT one). They not only planned the party they got everyone to chip in and get me a new dishwasher. OH.MY.WORD. I was so surprised and so so so happy. I have ever told you how amazing me kids are? Yeah I know...but really they are! 

That's a hard one...I pin, and pin, and pin. I like to pin. I pin and then pin again. it's hard to pick a favorite...But I really like this idea for a bathroom and think I'll make it a project for this break...or spring break...or summer break...
Has to be the one about my kid's wedding. It was the highlight of my year. So amazing and beautiful! Just absolutely perfect. 
Read all about it and the first of my school year here

Has and always be my kids. I have the most amazing adult children. They were the greatest when they were young, but now that they are young adults they amaze me every day with the choices they make in their lives. Another accomplishment I am a little proud of this year was my move from first to second grade. It was a last minute move and I think I have transitioned pretty well after being  in the same grade for 12 years. I hope it's not a one year only move now that I'm getting the hang of it. 
Ohhh that for sure is a hard one. So so many beautiful wedding photos this year, and pictures of Hadley that we took this fall. Here are three, sorry I couldn't do just one. 
 I love this because it shows the joy Hadley exudes for life and for others. She is such an inspiration. You can't imagine the joy she brings to my life. 

 I love this one because this is my family, my life. 

 I love this because these two are the most important men in my life, and are such protectors and strength of this family. They are one and the same. 
The memories of 2014 are great and abundant. I don't think I can pick just one, my cup runneth over. 

My goals for 2015 are long and carry over from 2014. I want to continue to learn, and grow. I want to simplify and renew. I want to find strength when I need it, and silence when it's loud. I want to lead, and follow, give and find the grace when I need to receive.  I want find time for me and make my health a priority. I want to wander and stay put. I want to be the best me I can be. 

Focus. Focus is something I have been saying to myself every morning lately, and something I try to remind myself of often. So I think something is telling me it must be what my word should be for this year and something I need to remember. Focus!