Sunday, May 31, 2009

Oh my bags are packed


Not!










Instead the clothes are on the line waiting to jump back into the suitcase.
The week with my daughter was a Godsend. I enjoyed the baby and was glad to be of some help to her- but I was SICK of the rain. Being home and putting my things on the line makes me remember why I love Kansas so much. Yes, it rains here. Yes, it gets humid- but it is not the same.
We are now off for a whorl through Maine. At the end of that week we will go down and see James in Alabama. I think I will be sick of the east coast! The Midwest is best!

Returning home







Friday, May 29, 2009





Life is a blur right now. I spent the last three days of school taking care of my grandson. I am relearning toddler speak. It is not an easy language- but he is quite proficient. This is an age of exploration. Nana is wondering what she could buy to enhance the experience. then I remember that the everyday things are what they desire at this age.



Better go. Something new to play with just arrived- an empty oatmeal box!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Why teach?

Some of you know that I have been struggling about teaching. Am I out of step with the world of the classroom? Should I make way for someone far younger, with much more endurance? Am I too sarcastic and do not use proximity enough? Are the politics of school overtaking my desire to serve our students?
Then, today, a shy student, who struggled this year, walked into my desk bubble. She whispered in my ear, "thank you for being my teacher". That says it all. I have to get past the bitterness and move into what I really teach for...helping the next generation be whatever they desire to be.
That is why I teach.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Graduation

My godson has had a very rough few years. Auto accidents, freak truck vs skateboard accident, difficult classes and just all around growing up. Saturday I was privileged to watch him walk across the stage and receive his diploma from ASU. You really have to know this kiddo. He was climbing before he could walk and skating before he could run. He has always had a job- finding a way to get the next cool thing on the block. The accidents took a toll and it has been a rough journey back. My part has been prayer- lots and lots of prayer. We have never really communicated- but the prayer has always been there. I have a special prayer I say every Communion for him. He is close to my nightly prayers. I am delighted that God saw fit to let him be the man he is. This kiddo is going places. My prayer is right behind (and will sometimes be in front) of him. He has everything to offer the world. I am looking forward to the world seeing him in a college graduate light!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

On being a mother

Being a mother is the most difficult and enjoyable position I have ever held. When they handed that baby- who seems to have no bones- and introduce the two of us for the very first time, I remember crying- with both of them. What a miracle! What a responsibility.
Most of my memories are very good. Working at the schools the kids went to. Attending soccer, running, wrestling (ok- not so fun), singing, scouts, softball events. Working on projects and papers late into the night. Enjoying schools in review. Going to the park, zoo, aquarium, birthday party, back yard bbqs, camping, the beach. Making sandwiches with cookie cutters and freezing veggies so they tasted better. Having dinner on the porch or at the table. Packing them up for a long day of travel to see various family members.
There were some very scary times too. The emergency room visit when I insisted that dd ride a bike when she was really not ready, or when ds ate an entire bottle of Flinstone vitamins. How about the ride to the emergency room in Saudi for another broken arm? The ride back from school after DH's building was destroyed by terrorists- not knowing who survived- was a scary time. I kept looking at both the children wondering how to explain it all.
Saying good bye to my young adult son at West Point, knowing it would be a difficult journey for him- and difficult to be without him. Saying goodby to my daughter as she drove off with her little family- knowing how scary it is to finally be totally in charge of a new life herself.
Sometime my anger was not in check and I said mean things. I didn't watch quite so closely and they spent some time with people I found, later, were not respectable. I insisted on Catholic school before checking the atmosphere- assuming it would be the best choice. Choosing to always "go to" Christmas instead of building traditions at home.
I learned from the nuns in Vietnam that "it is the mother who passes religion from one generation to the next" and took it to heart. Serving Mass, nightly prayers, singing in the choir, serving the poor- all things we did together.
Being a mom is not easy. Sometimes it is compromise- like returning to work so the DH can stay home and be a dad. Sometimes it is solitary- like going to well baby checks to find that the baby is not so well. Sometimes it is exhilarating- like seeing my daughter walk down the isle in all of her beauty, and my son graduate in all of his confidence.
All in all- it is worth every second of worry and strain. I love my children and I thank God that I have my husband to share them with. We are blessed to have the life we do. Now we have a son-in-law and grandchild to grow with as well. Ah- life is good!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Hit it on the head

The other day I said that I might be totally stressed out this week. I am. I don't do stress well. My voice goes up. My shoulders go up. AGGG!
Fifteen more days of school!!!!!!!!!!!

End of life

Why do we do everything we can to keep people alive? I know this is controversial- but it is something I really struggle with. There are many times I understand- but there are others I do not. Our elderly is case in point. Now that we can surgery and chemo almost anything- we often do. Why is medical science more important than just letting go? Don't we trust that there is a time that God is calling us home?
Part of this is a free will thing. If a person chooses to fight on- then good. If the same person is only choosing to fight on because someone else chooses for them to- is that selfish or helpful? If someone outside is fighting without the person's consent than- OW! If they choose not to fight - then it is "suicide" or "euthanasia" or choosing to go home? Why do we fight this so much? So the person we love can sit in a nursing home? They can have bed sores? Is it the "suffering is good for the soul" thing?
If we believe that the end of life is the beginning of life with in God- why do we prolong it here? For own gratification? To say that we did everything? How about God doing everything? I just do not get it. I sure hope I die in my sleep before these questions come for my children.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Absentee

My life has been a whirl lately. The end of school keeps me hopping. We are staying until 6 most nights doing extra projects for students and getting celebrations ready. Taking a day long class in the middle of the week did not help the flow of things last week. I was hoping to get into the Mayan culture in more depth. Next year I will attempt to get to the topic earlier.
Monday is in service. The day will be spent on the new anti bully program. WE are going with a program that states that the bully knows they are powerful and uses that. It is not a self esteem issue. When our students took an in depth survey we found, by looking over shoulders, that those who bully do not consider themselves a bully. If they are so powerful, then I would think they would know they were a bully. Any....
Wednesday is "Schools in Review". we should have about 300 fifth graders in the building with their parents. My class is hoping to have a PowerPoint of the year up and running for the evening. Everyone is ready to do a page. Can I possibly get it all on my computer in time????
Thursday is the celebration for the new teachers.
Friday is a retirement party for our principal....
Unfortunately, that means my time here is VERY limited. I will either not be here at all OR, if I am stressed out, I will be posting early in the morning. Let's hope the former happens and we all have an excellent week!