Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thankful!

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you are enjoying the day with your family.  I hope you've eaten until you're uncomfortable. I pray you have your best stretchy pants on. 

I want to share some things I'm thankful for today...

My family - Ryan and the boys are the lights of my life.  They make me smile every day and scream only every other day.  My momma, Ryan's momma, my sister, Ryan's brother and sister and their families are very important to me and I'm so glad they are a part of our everyday life.  I'm thankful we all live pretty close together.  I only wish my uncle lived closer.

My friends - I'm blessed to have to 2 sets of wonderful friends.  My 'biffles' here in Sunnyvale get me through my day to day drama.  Need some signs painted for football?  Call the biffles.  Need some wine?  Call the biffles.  Need to vent about your kids?  Text the biffles.  Don't know what to do with those same kids? The biffles know! 

My tribe is my sorority sisters.  We have 2 weekends away each year plus a long weekend in Galveston.  My stress drips off me within minutes of seeing my tribe.  My abs get a good workout from laughing with my girls.  We text each other everyday to check in and keep up with each other.  I love my friends. 

My church - I love that I get to 'work' at our church running our special needs ministry - Valuable.  Our pastors are real people.  They are flawed and working on themselves and that makes me feel like we are all journeying together.  Plus the people I get to work with are amazing.  The ladies that volunteer in the Valuable classes are so dedicated to our kids.  They are patient, kind and loving.  They make my life so much easier.  I also love working with the KidsMin staff.  I believe I'm the oldest but they make me feel young and teach me every time I'm around them.  They've taught me so much about Jesus and how to be more like Jesus. 

My job - I absolutely love my new job! What a blessing it's been to have something new to do this year.  I've made some changes to the middle school library and I think the students love it. I'm really enjoying getting into the librarian groups on Facebook - I've learned so much from them.  Getting to help high school teachers has also been a thrill. I love new challenges!

Books - We are blessed here in America that we are free to read what we want and I try not to take that for granted.  I have to be very disciplined to not add a book to my cart every time I order from Amazon!

You - I'm thankful to have people read my writing.  I appreciate you're encouragement.  I hope I write things worth your time. 

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Break

This week is Thanksgiving break. As always, I have a long list of things to do.  This week I'm trying to keep rest as a priority on my to do list. 

I have managed to sleep in for two days.  I may have finally trained B to play in his room and let me sleep in.  I haven't actually napped, which is unusual.  Maybe today.

I've finished reading book, started another, finished editing an article, paid bills, made some t-shirts and written some lessons for church.  It sounds like a lot but it's actually restful for me. 

A friend of mine tweeted a reminder I needed - rest is not the same as idleness.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rest

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/idle

The biggest thing that stands out from these definitions is "lacking worth" in the idle definition.  What I love about one of the definitions of rest is "peace of mind or spirit".  

I have been at peace of mind and spirit these last two days.  Not that I'm not at peace at work.  It's just different.  At work I never know what's going to happen next, who might need me.  I usually love the unpredictability of my job.  But it's nice to have a break, to be in charge of what I'm going to next.  

That's rest to me. 


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

By B - Update

A couple of weeks ago, B-man hacked my blog and wrote a blog filled with pictures and descriptions of himself.  Y'all loved it! And he loved creating the blog and how much y'all loved it.

B is not a fan of school.  He gets up and goes every day and I think he has a good time there. He FOR SURE loves his teachers.  And they are great teachers.  His support team is also awesome.  I want to be clear that B's dislike for school does not have to do with the people there.  His mind is just on other things.  He wants to start businesses, create video games and learn what he can on TED-ED.

He didn't want to go to school this year.  He wanted to start a bakery.  He also wanted to convince the small church by our schools to let him open the bakery there because "that's a great spot to get a cookie after school".

So, I'm always trying to sneak 3rd grade learning into the things he wants to do.  He can't be a 3rd grade dropout.  There are things he needs to learn to be successful.  Like writing and times tables and spelling.

I'm trying to teach him to type to make some of these things easier.  Handwriting is difficult for B.  And it's hard to read.  I thought typing would be perfect for him.

And what better way to practice typing than blogging!?!

I'm proud to present B's blog:  www.brennanthegreat.blogspot.com



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Bold Kid

Earlier this week, B and his classmates went on a field trip as part of their Thirdville study of communities.  As a part of their study, students are elected to Thirdville offices like Town Council, Mayor, School Board and Superintendent.  They go to Town Hall and have a Town Council meeting with some of their real life counter parts.    Then they go to our Administration building to have a School Board meeting in a similar fashion.  

I received pictures of B speaking during the public comments section of each meeting.  At Town Council he gave his opinion about what do to with some park land.  At the School Board meeting he asked how citizens would pay for the increased taxes due to the bond election.  



I'm so proud of B for speaking out but not really that surprised.  He's a bold kid.  He's a smart kid.  He's not shy.  He thinks everyone needs to know what he knows.  

However, one of the social cues he often misses is the fact that not everyone is interested in hearing him.  He loves to share what ever is on his mind.  Not everyone wants to know what's on his mind.  Most people will listen anyway.  Adults are usually impressed.  Kids range from interested to bored, depends on the topic.  Not many people are rude. 

I am so thankful he's so widely accepted and celebrated in our community.  

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

All The Things

Here is an inexhaustive list of things that B would like to do:

  • quit school to open a business
  • open a bakery
  • make candy
  • be a pet sitter
  • build a pet park
  • make dinner
  • go to mini camp
  • leave mini camp within an hour of arrival
  • put up his Christmas tree
  • get a pet - a bearded dragon or guinea pig
  • text family and friends
  • talk endlessly about these things
  • accept no help

As I said, this list is not exhaustive but I am exhausted.  Also, I'm irritated.  I'm out of margin for his plans. 

And I hate that. 

I love being B's momma.  But I can't keep up. I don't want him to stop having big ideas and dreams. I don't want to squelch his spirit.  How do I avoid that without exhausting myself? 

I try to balance it out. Sometimes I say 'yes' even when I know it's going to be a mess.  Sometimes I tell him we'll talk about it later.  He's getting wise to that though.  I try to explain that there are just some rules you can't break, like quitting school in 3rd grade. 

So, I guess I'll go to bed early, again tonight (thank you Ryan) and get it up and do it all again tomorrow. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Shoes

I had a work event last night.  When I dressed in the morning, I picked some cute boots.  By 8 pm I was ready to break up with those boots.  

As I've gotten older, I decided that I'm not wearing uncomfortable clothes.  I'd love for that to mean that I wear pajama pants and oversized t-shirts all the time.  No such luck! What it does mean that if something pinches or pulls or itches it's gone.  I tend to shop for clothes based on touch.  If it doesn't feel good, I don't spend my money.  

Clothes have come a long way. I can still look semi-fashionable in my non-binding clothing.  

Shoes are way behind.  

Actually, let me say that another way...shoes that I'm willing to pay for are behind.  I'd like to think that super expensive shoes are way more comfortable but I may never know.  

I like fun shoes.  I love Chucks and Toms.  I love flip flops.  I love not so cute Birkenstocks.  I love Nike and Adidas.  I have lots of shoes.  I have shoes that I can't part with. I keep thinking they are going to magically stop hurting. I'm always hopeful.   

I really want to love high heels.  But good gravy they hurt! And I can't take it.  

Life is too short.  There are lots of things that are going to make you uncomfortable.  It's called productive struggle.  It's important.  It builds character.  

I can find no character building benefits to wearing shoes that hurt my feet.  So, I think I'll stop.  

Right after my nephew's wedding this weekend.  I've got a killer dress that's gonna require some killer shoes.   

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

B after dark

When we get home each afternoon, B almost always goes to his room for 'privacy' or 'alone' time.  He uses that time to decompress.  By the time he's ready to come to the living room, I'm usually engaged in something else. 

With the older boys, I always had them do their homework as soon as school was out.  Especially in the early days of homework, they were able to do their homework almost immediately after school. They would come to my classroom and get to work.  I also had a great carrot - my classroom was the computer lab.  When they finished, they could play computer games. 

B's school gets out way after mine so by the time he gets to me, I'm ready to go home.  Many days I meet him in the parking lot and go home. 

All that to say, I haven't been great about doing homework or extra work with B.  He hasn't been great either.  Lots of times he's all used up.  He's worked hard all day to hold it together that he can't do any more.  We have had some epic meltdowns around homework.  Thankfully, he hasn't had a lot of homework and he still doesn't. 

But the time has come for B to do some work at home.  He needs to work on his addition and multiplication facts and his spelling.  Not traditional homework but extra practice.

He was not excited.  So, we worked up a system.  He still gets his alone time as soon as we get home.  Then at 7:40, we work in 5 minute increments.  5 minutes on addition, 5 minutes on multiplication, 5 minutes on spelling.  Each thing might take more than 5 minutes but he likes to think there's a time limit. 

I found B an app that would review both addition and multiplication.  I thought he'd be super excited about that.  Wrong! "I want paper.  I don't want a machine to teach me."  So, I found a website to print worksheets for him. 

So far so good.