Organized, at Least I Would Like to Be

My life is a mess, literally.  I thought I wasn’t able to keep up with housework, schoolwork (the cleaning up part), because of lack of time.  Well now I know it was lack of energy.

It is still daunting to look around my house and realize how much I have to do.  Summer is my organizing time and this year is no exception.  I will be creating my lists and going into summer head first.

I’m a little excited that this summer is longer than most.  We had no snow days this year.  What that really means is that I will make a list that is too long.  🙂  I guess one of my summer goals should be to be realistic.

Summer goal list to come later this week.  Stay tuned.



Life Changes, Ready or Not

The Past:  This year has been hard.  I’ve had an extremely needy class with 29 students.  5 Special Ed, ELL students, 1 probably on the autism spectrum, and 4 in counseling.  It completely exhausted me.  I had to reduce my commitments in other areas of my life, just so I could function.  This has not been my best mom year.  My oldest needed more attention, and I see it in his grades.  Not that they were bad, but could have been better.  Thankfully I won’t be repeating this year again.   

The Present:  It is SUMMER!  Time to re-energize myself and rebuild myself mentally.  However, the biggest change is that 3 weeks ago today I became mommy to a 10 month old.  We will be adopting a gorgeous little boy.  Kobe is extended family, and we are thrilled to love him.  I want to come up with some summer goals, and plans for me and my kids.  One of my goals is to be writing again.  (Hence, why I’m blogging again.)

The future:  Next year we have a 3rd, 2nd grade teacher.  Since I won’t be working with the SPED teacher directly next year, I won’t have many SPED.  I am designated as the low ELL room.  So we will really be pushing language and lots of verbalizing.   I’m excited about that change.  I am also excited that we will have air-conditioning.  No more 120 degree days in my classroom.  It will be wonderful to have the kids physically able to learn the first month.  Usually they lay lifeless on their desks, looking ill.  Sadly, I’m not exaggerating.

All in all, life is good.  I wish this year had been easier, but God doesn’t promise easy.  Perseverance has been my word of the year.  Now my word for the summer is relaxation or maybe it should be rejuvenation.  I like that one better.  🙂

A Blizzard Really? No, Really?

Today we had a blizzard….again.  I am so sick of snow and cold and ice and snow and cold and ice.  Ok you get the picture. 

It was pretty in December for Christmas, but now that we have had 6, count them…6 snow days, it’s not pretty anymore.  We are going to school until the end of June.  Crud! 

I will say though at least we had school today.  Lots of the surrounding districts closed, but not ours!  Yeah!  We went and we stayed the whole day.  Around 10 I started thinking an early out would be nice, but it didn’t happen.  Although it did for my boys.  They loved being home alone for a few hours.

Sadly after my husband was laid off from Nationwide last year, he reinvented himself.  He drives a truck now.  He’s driving in this blizzard.  In fact he has driven in in every weather system we have had this year.  He called a few minutes ago to say that he is currently going 3 mph.  Great!  My gray hairs are showing up faster than that!

Ice, Ice Baby!

So we had a very beautiful ice storm.  However as pretty as it was it caused havoc everywhere.  Yesterday many of our schools were without power so we had another day without school.  This week we have had school twice.  Good grief. 

This morning I look out my front window and I have a huge limb from one of our trees hang limply broken from the trunk.  I haven’t been brave enough to look in the back yard yet.

At my mom’s house last night we were pulling off ice from her siding.  Her entire house was completely sealed in ice.  We actually went for dinner, but heard the boys making some strange noises outside.  When we went out her deck was completely covered in ice chunks.  I looked like someone had dumped 10 big bags of ice on her deck.  They were having a good time, and so we joined them.  We had a contest to see who could pull off the biggest piece without breaking it.  Then we would karate chop it.  It was hysterical.  When we finished we swept her deck and had a foot and half of ice chunks that we were standing in.  I have NEVER seen anything like this. 

I’m a bit sad about my tree though.  Now I am off to deal with crazy 2nd graders!  I will try to get some pictures posted later.

A Snow Day–I’m So Sick of Snow Days

Today is the 5th snow day this year.  Currently we will be in school until June 12th.  Today’s reason is an ice storm.  We have 1/4 inch of ice covering everything.   Back in December I was so excited for our 1st snow day!  So were my students, but yesterday when I warned them to watch the news this morning, they all groaned.  They were complaining about not having school!!  That made me smile. 

I have spent my day putting together our new computer, that the boys promptly named AlbertE-PC, and he is amazingly fast.  Our computer crashed on Sunday, and died a painful death.  Thankfully Todd had backed up all the photos and iTunes the day before.  So I think I will sit here and catch up on some past  blogs.  It has been so long since I had anytime to sit and just do nothing special.  This is awesome! 

But don’t get me wrong!  I would have rather been in school today.

Itching for Summer

About this time of year my students start to become more difficult.  The days seem longer and their attention seems shorter.  They start gazing out the window and start smelling more than a little ripe after recess.  I love fall and the excitement of beginning a new year, but the end is always bittersweet. 

On one hand I’m as excited as they are for a break from our daily routine.  Plus if I’m totally honest, I’m ready to pass on some of my angels to next year’s teacher. 

But on the other hand, I have so much that I want to teach them still.  Not to mention I will miss all of them when they move on (no matter how ready I am to pass them on.) 

I also truly enjoy my summers.  It is the time I re-energize for the upcoming year.  I plan.  I work.  I take classes, and I plan some more.  It is also therapy time for me.  Teaching is an incredibly difficult job both physically and emotionally.  I enjoy cleaning my house, spending time with my two favorite boys, and exploring different interests.

We are all ready for summer!  I can feel it (and smell it!  Who knew that such little people can create such smell!)

Finding Myself

After the extreme chaos of the last 4 months, I am trying to find myself again. I’m finding it difficult physically, emotionally, and even spiritually.

My body is still trying to adjust to 4 months of stress. Truly more like 8 months of stress. Todd’s being unemployed and then me jumping into too many commitments. I think looking back on it all that maybe I agreed to do all those things as a ways of avoiding the pressures of home. Todd’s unemployment was very hard on both of us. I gained 20 pounds. I’ve lost five, but it is hard. I feel lethargic and unmotivated.

I also think spiritually I’m off kilter. I feel very far away from God right now. I don’t like it. I know what I need to do, but I’m so tired that I don’t do it.

I’m trying to get back into some of my old habits (including, but not limited to blogging), but I’m finding it so difficult. Praying, reading, and even connecting with friends is taking effort. Even getting daily things done is hard. I have piles of little things that need my attention. I have lists of appointments to make for summer, camp applications to get filled out, and homework to turn it (eek due on the 11th.) Heck, even my poor dog needs to go to the vet.

Honestly, I think I am just tired. I’m ready for summer, even if I do have class all of June.

Too Busy to Blog This Last Few Weeks

I think this time I truly may have pushed my mind and body as far as they will go.  I keep expecting to wake up and be unable to move.  I am currently working on four shows in various stages of production.  One will be over Friday night, then another will open two weeks later, another will open two weeks after that, and then the final one will be three weeks after that.  Add in planning the summer classes and well, I’ve lost my mind or rather I may overestimate my own abilities.

I am trying to make sure that in this self created chaos, my students are on track.  I spend an enormous amount of time trying to plan with intention for these children. 

When I over extend I do it with style!  My husband and I have also started prepping our living room for painting.  that means all our stuff is in our family room.  All I can think of is Christine Lavin’s song, “What Was I Thinking?”  Maybe you can relate?

Be patient with me I will be blogging with more consistency soon.  The greater disappointment to me is I feel disconnected with all of you.  I have been a daily reader of so many blogs, and I barely check my email.  Soon…

Morning Surprise!

I work in an amazing place!  I teach in an inner-city school with the majority of children from low-income homes and a high ELL population (mostly Hispanic.)  We are one of the few small truly neighborhood elementary schools left.  We have about 300 students.

I work with an extremely dedicated staff and for a fabulous principal!  Our principal was an amazing teacher before she became administration.  Her reputation as a teacher was impeccable.  As an administrator she is always trying to balance things for her staff.  She has high, but reasonable expectations.  She expects you to work hard, but she is working harder.

My co-teachers are not only talented, but incredibly professional.  If you need anything, they will help you.  We share ideas, lessons, and materials not only within grade levels, but across grade levels.  We truly work as a team.  It is wonderful.

They care so much and so intensely that it always surprises me.  I know that a large group of them have been praying for my family and my husband’s job situation regularly for months.

Today when I got to school one of my grade level partners came to visit me.  A few weeks ago she had introduced us to a book called Wolf! I loved it!  It is about this wolf that wants to learn to read, and I think it has enormous potential to help teach my students about reading workshop and what good readers look and sound like. This morning she presented me with my own copy!  It almost made me cry, because it was so thoughtful!

This is actually the third surprise book that I have received this year.  That amazes me even further.  The first was an amazing book about academic vocabulary from an ELL teacher that left our building.  The 2nd was this book I kept checking out from our professional library.  Our darling literacy leader surprised me with a copy of The Daily 5 after I was bemoaning returning it–again.

I have worked in my 20 year career with many talented teachers, and at good schools.  This one is different.  There is no competition.  We realize our success depends on their success.  We are interconnected, dependent, and all valued.

A Weekend Alone

All my guys went camping this weekend.  They left last night.  So I have a day “off.”  I’ve contemplated this time.   What should I do?  Should I go somewhere?  Should I hang out with friends?  I’ve probably spent almost as much time thinking about what to do, as I will have actually doing it.  🙂

In the end I spent Friday night at the grocery store and asleep by 9:30.  Today I will pop in the theatre this morning, and spend the evening at Teen Improv.  The rest of the time?  I believe I will watch some teaching inservice DVD’s  on the Daily 5 and clean my house.

Does that sound boring to you?  I hate to say it, but it sounds delightful to me.  I will have temporary quiet and release of responsibility.  No one needing me or my attention (except for Lilo and Stitch, our dog and cat.)

I am finally getting a very special package in the mail that I have been working on for a while.  I will get all of Christmas put away once and for all.  I want to bake some cookies.  I need to call Suzanne back.  I am looking forward to today.

What would you do?