Archive | November 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Thanksgiving began bright and early Thursday morning.  We headed out to Austin to volunteer with Operation Turkey.  My mom, sisters Tedi and Lexi, Miranda and I all helped to package Thanksgiving Dinners for the homeless community.  We were part of an assembly line gathering turkey, dressing, potatoes, vegetables, and pie.  I enjoyed watching Miranda’s eager face as she slid her trays across the table, gathering each piece, being so careful when carrying the finished product.  We talked about the reason we were there, but I don’t think she understood until after we left when we saw a couple of homeless men carrying their trays.  I had thought that Miranda was too young to appreciate the importance of serving the community, but her enthusiasm proved me wrong!

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My mom and the girls then headed over to my house and our own turkey preparation began!  Our dinner was a simple one: turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, and of course dessert!  Pumpkin pie and Cinnamon strudel.  We turned on a movie, “Princess and the Frog” while the turkey cooked.   After dinner and dessert, it was game time!  I LOVE playing games and hardly ever get the chance anymore.   I really enjoyed spending the day with my mom and sisters.

After everyone left, John, Miranda and I relaxed on the couch, full and happy.  That’s when I began thinking…

There are literally hundreds of things that I am thankful for this year, but I think I can sum it up in just a few items: family that loves me, friends that support me, a fulfilling teaching career.  Most of all, though, I am thankful for a God that has saved me, forgiven me, and continually blesses me.

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This entry was posted on November 26, 2010. 1 Comment

Why I Love Being a Teacher #2

This past week we have been deep in the fascinating world of long division.  This is an EXTREMELY difficult skill for most of my kids to master.  We spent every day last week simply dividing…over and over and over.  Eventually, they do get it, but the process is gibberish to them for a couple of days.

Thursday was an especially “fun” day.  I introduced the 3 digit dividend.  All of the progress we had made the past three days seemed to go out of the window and the kids were completely confused.  So, we practiced some more.

I picked one of my sweetest little boys to walk the class through a division problem.  He is a wonderful child that always does his homework, and is a very hard worker.  He sits near the white board, so I had a front row seat to watch as his little fingers worked their magic.  Many of my kids haven’t mastered their basic multiplication and division facts, so they are constantly counting with their fingers to figure out the answers.

As he’s working, the rest of the class is waiting and not really paying any attention to him.  I’m watching as his fingers finally stop moving.  He’s figured out the answer, and there’s only one finger left standing.  Unfortunately, it’s not the most appropriate finger to be left all alone.

I wasn’t going to say anything because I knew it was an accident.  But the look of sheer panic on his face as he realized he just flipped off his teacher, was priceless.  I couldn’t help it, I cracked up laughing.  Then, when he saw that he wasn’t in trouble, he started laughing uncontrollably.

The class had no clue what had just happened.  All they knew was their teacher and one of the students were giggling.  Then before I knew it, my entire classroom had erupted in laughter.  This poor little boy was laughing so hard, he wasn’t making any noise and was about to literally fall out of his chair.  Which, of course, made me laugh even more, to the point where I had tears rolling down my face.   My mascara had run down my cheek, which made the noise from my room even louder.  Even as I write this, I’m remembering his face and chuckling to myself.

This was one of the moments I will probably remember for the rest of my life.  We spend so much of our time worried about benchmark tests and mastering skills that we forget that these children are just children.  It felt good to share a funny moment with my kids and spend a couple of minutes just laughing as children laugh.

Atypical Teen Talk

This past Sunday, I led our Church’s Middle School Sunday Bible Study.  We have over a dozen hyper teenagers that are so unique, and at times, so stereotypical.

This week was an exception, sort of…

I began the study with a question.  “Name a television show, movie, or book in which the weak character wins over the strong character.”

I was so proud as the first few kids spoke.  They all named a book that they were reading.  It was wonderful to hear the other kids comment how they liked the book, or in the fashion of a sweet red-head, plug her ears and say, “Don’t talk about it, I haven’t finished it yet!”

When I began our study, I fully expected to discuss movies and TV shows.  These teenagers surprised me with plot lines and an excitement for books.

Of course, after a couple of minutes, the conversation turned and we launched into typical teen talk.

It was nice while it lasted!

Race for the Cure

Early Sunday morning, and I mean EARLY, I was wide awake and following my stepmom, Wendy, into town.  We were part of the team Hope Blossoms for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

I have not had any close family or friends that were victims of breast cancer, but I do know the sting of death from cancer.  Cancer run deep in my genetic history and is a scary thought kept in the back of my mind.

Wendy, Beth (a soccer friend), and I ran the race together.  Well, for the most part anyway.  They are faster than I am, but they never got too far ahead for me to catch up.  Thank you, ladies!

As we ran, we passed energetic cheerleaders.  No really, cheerleaders from local high schools!  Even some school mascots showed up for support.

During the race, I watched survivors run past me.  I saw countless runners wearing pink cards with names of family or friends that had passed away from breast cancer.  Including a little girl with her mom’s name and an elderly lady with her daughter’s name.

It was amazing to see thousands of people gathered for one awesome cause.  I am blessed and humbled to have been a small part of it.

This entry was posted on November 7, 2010. 4 Comments

Halloween 2010

Miranda’s Halloween Adventures began with a trip to Sweet Berry Farm several weeks ago.  She painted a small pumpkin and picked a bigger one out for carving.

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The next couple of weeks were spent on costume decisions and searches.  Of course, the only one that Miranda seemed drawn to was way too big!  A Kitty Cat Fairy in the size 10-12…Miranda wears a size 5.  I went ahead and bought it; I knew I could make it work.  To no avail, I did look in several other stores to find one closer to her size.

Saturday the 30th, was a fun-filled evening at my school Fall Festival with Mimi (my mom) and Aunt Lexi and her friend.  First stop…face painting, of course!  She played lots of games and was even brave enough to go through the Spook House!

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Finally, the big day arrived…Halloween!  Nana (my step mom, Wendy) picked us up and we drove to Cedar Park for trick or treating.  Miranda led us from house to house, ringing doorbells, saying “Trick or Treat!” and “Thank you!” (mostly without reminders).

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At least until she met “Michael” from the Halloween movies.  Nana and I pulled Miranda to the door and the lady of the house removed her mask before she would take the candy!

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Once Miranda’s princess bucket was full, she was done!  Nana, Miranda and I ended the night at Jardin Caronas…yum!

What an exciting Halloween!

This entry was posted on November 1, 2010. 1 Comment