Friday, November 30, 2012

Random thoughts

* I love the music from the video game Epic Mickey. I could just listen to it nonstop. Maybe it should be part of my life's soundtrack.

* It is so sweet to hear the preteen I-hate-to-reader say "Mom, you were right. That was a great book!" after weeks of fighting about it. And I didn't even say "I told you so".

*I need a new office chair.

*I only have 3 more major projects to turn in before the semester is over.

*I teach some great kids.

*Sharing my favorite read aloud with students who are interested is one of my favorite things to do as a classroom teacher.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Parenting Mistakes

We've all made them. If  you have children, you have made parenting mistakes. If you are an aunty, uncle-y, or fairy godsister, you, too, have made mistakes. Maybe nothing as drastic as dropping the dog bone on the baby or screaming "I'm gonna pinch your head off the next time you... oh, hello Officer in line behind me." Here is what I will confess to... for now....

1. Introducing my children to chicken nuggets. I'm sure I have killed all sense of taste in those precious little buds for eternity.
2. Not requiring daily reading. As a teacher, I cry like a toddler missing their Momma because my kids don't enjoy reading. I'm sure it's because I was too tired to read to them as young uns after I got home from reading to everyone else's kids.
3. Establishing firm bedtimes. It made for a nice schedule for a while, but heaven help us all if I have to change the schedule now, because one will make a federal case out of it and require 2 hours of litigation to approve the change and the other will go along with it and completely forget we ever had a different schedule.
4. Encouraging talking. Mistake? Oh yeah! I have the most verbal children on the planet. They use words like they are going out of style. Talk to someone, sure! Talk to themselves.. out loud, in public, Uh-huh. In their sleep? yep. And the noises they make! I know that boys make noise, that's why those words rhyme, but mine are a bit extreme.
5. Teaching them how to use the TV remote. Independence is a goal, but somethings should require parental assistance. Just because you CAN change the channel, doesn't mean you should.
6. Microwave popcorn. Yes they can make it themselves, but it should not be the only thing they eat!
7. Expressing their opinion. I used to think that kids should be able to respectfully share their opinions. I now have a preteen and am aghast at my ignorance. Apparently I "just don't understand" anything. That's what he tells me, anyway.
8. Introducing my children to Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. It seemed ok at the time. No more need be said.
9. Answering questions. Now they ask them all the time. Sometimes they are funny. Sometimes they are embarrassing. And sometimes they are just hard. Some say curiosity is a sign of intelligence. I think curiosity is just a sign of boredom.

So that's what I've got for now. I guess we could call this episode 1. Have a great week!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Post Thanksgiving thanks

I don't know about you, but I am feeling pretty turkey drunk and happy this Friday after Thanksgiving. Maybe I just feel the coffee buzz from an extra cuppa joe this morning. Either way, I am feeling exceptionally thankful this quiet morning.

I am thankful for sleeping in.
I am thankful for In-laws who let the children spend the night.
I am thankful for the ability to go back and get my Master's degree.
I am thankful for almost finishing my first semester back in school.
I am thankful for being able to teach GT students.
I am thankful for 4500 views of my blog (yay Spambots!)
I am thankful for that neighbor who is using a leaf blower before 10 am.
I am thankful for technology that allows me to do so many things.
I am thankful for brain candy books that are just fun.
I am thankful for The Good Book, that is the opposite of candy. It is the full course meal of reading.
I am thankful for the invention of toothpaste and toothbrushes.
I am thankful for my old, crochety dog who still gives me those puppy eyes that got him sprung from the pound all those years ago.
I am thankful for my family.
I am thankful for so many other trivial things.

Perhaps I should get dressed and get to the rest of the day.. hmmm.. or maybe just a little more cyber stalking..

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pretty pictures

I had the blessed opportunity to go to the Internations Quilt Festival in Houston recently. It was blessed because I got to drive my mother and my mother in law. Personally, I have never made a quilt. I can barely sew a button on. But I got to see some amazing pieces of art that were a testimony of God's committment to creativity.

Without further ado..

Here it is up close...
The more you look, the more you see!

I took the following detail shots because the whole quilt was just too intricate to believe, and then forgot to get a big shot of the entire quilt. Rookie FAIL!

I just love the happy colors of this one.

For my angry days....

Easily the most intricate quilt I saw. So interesting and full of personality.

The most traditionally beautiful quilt I got a shot of.
I love all the images in this one.

My nod to monochromatic beauty.

I just love all the letters and words! (This is what I think my mind looks like most days!)

As you can see, WOW!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sneak attack!

[pokes my head in and looks around.. notices dead crickets who chirped too long, dust bunnies in riot gear, and tumbleweeds careening around the furniture. Somewhat post apocolyptic and certainly desolate, I realize this is my mind.. kind of..]

This is the state of my blog room. It has been way too long since I posted anything worthwhile. It feels like I use all my personal resources and wit at work and on my classwork. My poor family. The house is starting to resemble the blog room. I get to go see Skyfall with the hubby this afternoon. Yay! Some time away together! We don't do this nearly often enough.

I am hopeful that in the next 3 weeks or so, I will finish the bulk of this semester's classwork and I can attempt to figure out how to better manage life next semester. 1 or 2 classes?? That is the question. 2 about kicked my butt this semester. I know I haven't been able to be my happy self enough. But if we can make a few changes, it might work. And I'm used to is now. I just don't like it.

Is it worth it? Yep. I think so. I am ready to get out of the classroom experience and find another field to serve in. Since we are not able to teach the way we want any more, and documentation and special interests trump the overall learning process of the majority, I'm on my way to done in a full on sprint.

And I'm sad. Some good friends are retiring. Mentors and ladies that make my job much more pleasant. Teachers who I can turn to for inspiration when I don't know what to do or when I need a cheering up. I will miss them. They are amazing friends and mentors and peers. There is a grief in realizing I am now one of the "old ones" on campus. 15 years doesn't seem long enough to reach that position, but I suppose that's the new way of it.

I am in search of joy right now. I know where to find it. I must start reading the Bible regularly. The last month has been horrible and I know that the lack of good spiritual nourishment is withering my spirit. So, I think I'll go do that right now. Revival is imminent! In my heart at the least!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Happy birthday!

Has it really been that long? 12 whole years??

How you have changed, my sweet boy. But in some ways you are just the same as you have always been.

You are much taller, but that was expected.
"That baby has one of the longest femurs I've seen in a sonogram" said my OB/GYN at his second sonogram.

You love to run and go to running club at 7 am every Wednesday morning, but you always liked to stretch your legs.
"Stop pushing on my rib cage!" I said one morning in church when you getting too big for my tummy.

You are funny and thoughtful, but you've been talking since before you could walk.
"Is it normal for a 1 year old to talk in complete sentences?" I asked the pediatrician.

You are a good friend to others, but you have always valued friendship.
"Clay is my best buddy, Mommy," you told me after church when you were 3.
"Make room for Little Clay. He needs to be belted in, " you announced after Clay moved and we didn't see him any more. You just created an imaginary friend until you could see him again.

As I watch you stand at the edge of  the teen years, I wonder if you will be as afraid of that jump as you are of heights. I wonder if you will remember all that you have been taught about the important things when you have to make the choices yourself. I wonder if you will become an entirely different being, or if you will retain what makes you so special.

I am encouraged by the fact that The One who made you protects you and will guide your steps if you will listen. I am encouraged by the knowledge that you have the Holy Spirit to show you the right choices and convict you when you've made the wrong ones. That knowlege makes facing the coming years exciting instead of terrifying. Ok, it's a little terrifying, too.

Thoughtful, determined, cautious, focused, caring, intelligent, witty. You are my first born and you have not only survived, but thrived! I am proud of you in every way.

Happy Birthday!