Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Head Above Water...

I knew this semester would be busy...but WOW!! Somebody should have warned me. It's a lot of early early mornings and late late nights. Between student teaching, my capstone class, my kids and their activities, and, of course, the house...I pretty much have ZERO time for anything else. Which makes me so glad we had the foresight to potty train Connor over Christmas break :) These past two weeks I have learned just how much you can accomplish in a small amount of time. Who knew so much can get done in the 3 spare minutes you have?!

Student teaching is going good. I was terrified at first, but am getting the feel for it now. Besides the occassional breakdown, I LOVE it! I have a newfound respect for teachers! I did not realize how busy they stay all day. There is ALWAYS something to do, and plan or get ready for. Before you know it, the day is gone. My first grade team has welcomed me and made me feel at ease. I am learning A LOT!!! Can't wait for my own classroom!

I love that I get to check in on Averi's class every once in a while to give her a big hug. And I get to hug Taylor at lunch. I have to say...it's crazy being on the teacher side of things. Next week I start teaching Phonics...which might as well be a foreign language. Thank goodness my third grader will be able to tutor me :) Ha!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Quote and Scary Story of the Day...

"I've come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It's my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized."

Dr. Haim Ginott

What a powerful responsibility. I have to remember that every child is someone's Taylor, Averi and Connor.

OK...so I have a scary story. Last night everyone was ready for bed. I was doing some last minute things trying to get ready for our busy day today. I went out to the garage to get something out of the car. When I walked into the garage I noticed the passenger side door was open. It's one of the those sliding mini-van doors. I thought one of the kids must have left it open on accident. I was on my way to shut it when the door began to shut on its own. No one was in the garage but me. No one had the keys...we leave them in the car. It freaked me out a little...I was stunned, but figured it was a fluke thing.

Well...this morning I was up unusually early because I had a meeting to be at. I was getting ready to leave and needed to put some things in the car. I opened the door to the garage, and as soon as I stepped from the house into the garage the passenger side door of the van opened...like it knew I was coming. It kind of took my breath away. And, honestly, in that moment I was scared. It was dark and no one was around. It disturbed me so much that I woke up Chad to tell him. I can't explain it, but it's what happened. WEIRD!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Calm in the Chaos...

So...with my mind going in a million different directions, things seem pretty chaotic right now...internally and externally. It's like so many things need my attention and need to get done, I'm not sure where to focus first. Chad always says he feels sorry for my brain because I never give it a rest. It is so true...my mind is constantly thinking and planning and going going going. Frankly it's annoying and a little overwhelming at times. Are there meds for that??

So I have decided to turn what seems impossible into little, manageable weekly goals. One of these areas is weight. I can't tell you how many times I have been inspired to get healthy only to give up when I didn't see immediate results. I decided a few weeks ago to take control of food instead of allowing the food to control me. I have lost 3 pounds so far.

One of the best FREE apps on iPhone (and Facebook) is Lose it! You enter your current weight and goal weight and it gives you a timeline for your success. It also counts your calories (burned and consumed) and helps to keep you on track. My weight loss goal is 29 more pounds. If I lose one pound a week I should reach my goal by August 2nd. A pound a week is much more manageable than focusing on the entire 29.

This really was a lightbulb moment for me. I don't have to accomplish everything all at once. All I have to do make mini goals and start there. Eventually I will be at my goal weight, the house will be in order, and all will be right with the world. When I have unrealstic expectations I only set myself up for failure and disappointment.

Another important thing I have decided to do is start the morning off with some quiet time. I am not a morning person so I feel I this is extra imperative...for my sake and my family's :) I hate beginning the day rushed and grumpy. This will help to center my thoughts and prepare me for the day ahead. Lately I have really been convicted about what kind of parent I am. This was my prayer this morning.


Help me to see my children through your eyes.

Help me to understand how precious and fleeting is the time we have with them.

Please give us wisdom and discernment as we raise them.

Please help us to see the big picture...not just today.

Please give us vision and purpose...dreams and goals.

I want our kids to choose us when they have a choice...please help us to be parents worth choosing.

Let us savor these days, months, and years...not just survive them.

Life is a gift...Thank You!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

iHeart iPhone and Other Epiphanies...

So yesterday Chad and I both splurged and bought iPhones. Originally only I was supposed to get one, but we found a way for Chad to back out of his Sprint plan without penalty, so he got one too! OMG...I don't know if it's a good thing or not. We are constantly on the darn things looking for fun apps, checking email, facebook, etc. And I love my ringtone...Don't Rain on My Parade from the Glee soundtrack!

I love the cover :)

Connor already knows how to work it...he can find all the kid apps and go to town. I think he's actually learning too!

Another addicting and time-consuming activity we have discovered is the new Super Mario Bros. for Wii. All last night and today we could not tear ourselves away. It was supposed to be for Taylor and Averi but we have taken it over :) SO MUCH FUN!!

I'm pretty sure I have used these great escapes so as not to dwell on what is about to come...real life...as in J-O-B. (And yes...I consider student teaching to be a job...one that doesn't pay). But I have decided that real life is nothing to fret over. As I was reflecting today I realized that everything is going to be fine. We are blessed. At the least, we live in a country where women are able to educate themselves and work if they choose to do so. I have opportunities that so many women in other places aren't afforded.

I originally did not intend to start back to school until after Averi's Kindergarten year, which would be next fall. I am so glad I did not stick to that because by that time I will be completely finished with school and student teaching...hopefully I'll be in my own classroom!

As perfect as everything has worked out, I cannot tell you how I have struggled through this whole process. I truly want to give 100% of me to my family. Being a parent is the most important job I have...and definitely the hardest. God gave us three awesome gifts, but also three awesome responsibilities. T, A, and C are my priorities. At the same time I know I have to work. I think that being a mom can only help me to be a better teacher...and that teaching can help me to be a better mom. I am just praying that God gives me the wisdom to know how to balance everything.

At the end of the day I think this change will be a good thing...for us at least.

I am believing that this new chapter of life will give me:
  • More confidence.
  • A sense of accomplishment.
  • Validation.
  • Financial security.
  • Fulfillment.

Not that I didn't have these things before...but I am hoping they are enhanced!


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Mr. Conductor...

While we were in S.A. we got the chance to visit my brother and his girlfriend. They showered the kids with even more Christmas gifts. Connor didn't make the trip with us, so when we arrived back in Lubbock he got to open his present. He got a choo-choo train and what else but a conductor's hat! Perfect! He loves it and wanted to say THANKS!

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He loves to push it and make train noises..."Choo-Choo"

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He likes to keep all the blocks on the middle train. I tried to move some to the caboose, but he told me they didn't go there.

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He is so cute in his hat :)

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When he is done playing he will put all the pieces (including his hat) in his backpack with rollers, and pull it behind him wherever he goes.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Life As I Know It...

Is about to change. I start student teaching in exactly two weeks. I am nervous, excited, ready, apprehensive...I am basically on a roller coaster of emotions. My main fear is time...there is not enough of it. I already feel stretched too thin somedays without a full-time job added to the equation. I want to be a good teacher, mom, wife...I want to give my all to every area of my life without feeling like I'm selling somebody/something short.
I have really had to adjust my thinking the past month or so to prepare myself for this change. I am taking it one day at a time. I will not be anxious about what tomorrow holds.

Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

We had a fun time in San Antonio this past weekend. I loved walking around the River Walk and seeing Tech fans EVERYWHERE! There was a spirit of comradery among all of us...especially with all of the controversy and media attention. What a night for Ruffin McNeill! He handled the situation with dignity and class!

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Averi in front of the Alamo

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On the River Walk

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The girls got sparkly hats.

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River Walk at night

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The biggest crock ever!

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Averi holding Mr. Fuzzy

I have seen these crazy, furry worm things everywhere. Next to the display there is always a video playing. The video makes the worms look so fun...and too good to be true! We were at a junky souvenier shop in S.A. and Chad had to get one to see how they worked. It basically ended up being a pipe cleaner with two googly eyes glued on, and a clear string tied to the end of it. That's the trick...clear string! What a crock! We tried to make it look as life-like as the video did, but somehow failed. At least it gave us a good chuckle!

GAME NIGHT!! Texas Tech vs. Michigan State

Guns Up!

Sweet Victory!

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We couldn't go to San Antonio and not bring back a Davy Crockett hat for Connor! You know him and hats :)