Nothing

Every once in a while, we all need a day of "nothing." A day where there is nowhere to be, nothing to "do", just a lazy day. That was my day today.

Granted, I wasn't TOTALLY lazy, as the dog had a bath, the floors were vacuumed, recyclables were recycled, I checked out books at the library, took Jay on a walk, and did laundry.

HOWEVER, I also managed to watch about 4 episodes of NCIS that I had never seen before (Woop!) and hang out with a student and his family as they dropped by this evening to show me their costumes and visit for a little while.

But, I DIDN'T HAVE to get up and be anywhere.
I slept in until 10am.
And I was in my PJ's until 1pm.

It was a great day.

Now we get to have one extra hour of sleep tonight.
So, I think I'll watch another recorded episode of NCIS!

Woop!

Life.
Is.
Good.

Hebrews 11:1

During my entire walk with the Lord, Hebrews 11:1 has been special to me. However, in the past year, it has been the scripture that I have clung to as I have transitioned from one season of my life into this current chapter. Yes, I said Chapter. Mr. Hanney, a teacher I used to work with, said a phrase that has always stuck with me. The phrase was "You are the author of your own life story." I love that! While I truly believe that God is the true author of my life story, I do believe that I play a role in it. While God is guiding my steps, I have decisions to make, mistakes to make, and successes along the way. I also believe that each chapter leads me into the next one in my life.

So tonight I came home exhausted and was ready to be on the couch. I had even found an episode of NCIS that I had recorded that I haven't seen yet, so I was pumped.

At 8:15, the Lord told me to go to the 9:00 worship set at IHOP. I looked at Jay and contemplated it. I mean, REALLY contemplated it. Then I turned to Jay and told him I was going to IHOP. Afterall, who am I to tell God "No."

I went and Misty Edwards was leading. I was excited by that, but didn't expect what followed.

For those of you that aren't familiar with the IHOP model of prayer, they use music and prayer together in their worship sets. Within that, they often sing scriptures spontaneously (as led by the Spirit) in the worship sets. I have loved this because I have learned A LOT of scriptures through this model of prayer.

And in all my years of seeking the Lord at IHOP-KC, I had never heard Hebrews 11:1 sang in a worship set.

Tonight I did.

I sat there in awe of God. I have been praying that scripture SO MUCH these days that only God knows the extent of what it means to me.

So while I'm sure someone else needed to hear that tonight too, I am convinced that He did that tonight for me. Once again, I feel my bucket has been filled by Him.

Thank You, Lord.
I am loved VERY well.

Life.
Is.
Amazing.

Shoes and Sight Word Vocabulary!

In the world of walking with a limp, new shoes are often a big deal. Well, really, it's a painful ordeal. Once shoes are broken in, it's not a big deal. However, getting to the "broken in" stage takes time.

I always buy my shoes at Famous Footwear and for years I've been wearing one brand of tennis shoes because they have served me well. Back in August, I bought two new pairs of the shoes because of the buy 1/get one half-off sale. Same shoe, I just bought two pairs. I started the breaking in process, and it hurt but I figured I would get them broken in and everything would be fine. Over a few days, I got them broken in, but my back started hurting. My back hurts a lot, so that was nothing new. So, up until last night I put up with it. Yesterday at school I was in so much pain, I took my shoes off at school. (We get to wear Jeans everyday this week, so I could wear the tennis shoes everyday this week!) I came home and tried the other pair I had in the closet. They hurt just like the others. So, I took the shoes back to Famous last night, and explained my situation. I knew they didn't have to exchange it, as it was past the 30 days return policy. However, they let me do so! AND I GOT A PAIR OF SHOES THAT DON'T HURT! Woop! Plus, they're blue and their cute! SWEET!

My other cool story for today is SightWordKid. This kid is a SWEETHEART. He's in second grade, and his parents were torn up at Parent/Teacher conferences last week because their son is not progressing in reading. So, after conferences I talked to our reading specialist and told her what was up and that it has been YEARS since I've had a student that was this low. She told me to try a strategy she uses with her students. I tried it yesterday, and today the kid came in AND COULD REMEMBER THE WORDS! I tell ya, I wanted to yell from the rooftops that SightWordKid could read his ten words!!! I took him down to his teacher where he read all the words to her, and his teacher gave him 10 tickets (which is a good thing) in class! I told our reading specialist that it took 9 Weeks and two days, but he got it! I can't wait to see how he does from here!

If you ask me, that's ONE AWESOME DAY!

Shoes that are comfortable AND a kid that can now read his ten sight words!

Life.
Is.
GOOD.

Crankyparent

I have a bit of a story to share tonight. I have a parent of one of my students who has given me grief several times this year. We've met with her three times this year already, and she will be just fine in the meeting, but then she'll leave and send me an email out of nowhere letting me know what else our staff has done wrong. I have continually prayed, thinking she will get a clue. However, things have just gradually gotten worse as the year as progressed. It's all been with the parent, not the kid. While the child requires a lot of assistance, I like the kid.

So we have parent/teacher conferences last week, and I didn't make it to this student's meeting because I had an IEP meeting to do, and we had just met with CrankyParent two days earlier AND GAVE HER EVERYTHING SHE WANTED FOR HER KID. I figured it would be okay to miss the meeting since I had zilch extra to say. I have 21 other kids I need to be serving too.

I wasn't at the parent/teacher conference but whatever happened upset Crankyparent. I knew nothing about it though, as we were on a 3 day weekend.

So, Sunday I checked email and the parent was requesting the kid's records from last year. I just prayed, and asked those here for the retreat to pray as well. I didn't mention names, just that I needed some prayer support. Monday I checked email and there was a letter saying she had called the office and gotten the information from them. Hum...okay, she got her information. I was PRAYING that was the end of it.

Apparently she also set a meeting with my principal, and at the end of it, she had a transfer request completed.

I sit here and scratch my head. We gave her everything she wanted for her kid, and yet we still have a parent who wants to yank her out of my program and put her back at her old school.

Honestly, that tilts my "bucket". It doesn't empty it, because as sad as it is to say, my life would be easier without Crankyparent in it.

However, I like this kid. And, this kid is making gains in my program. Not leaps and bounds, but steps forward. And, we have a connection. I have clicked with this kid, even though I'm INCREDIBLY guarded due to the level of trust that Crankyparent has with me now. I literally had to print out EVERY email this parent has ever sent me and I have sent her. CRAZY.

I realize some people are unhappy no matter what you do. It's also unfortunate that the parent is so unstable because no matter where she puts her kid, teachers and staff are going to now be so on guard that a healthy relationship won't be possible. It takes a relationship between teachers and parents to make this whole thing work. And this parent is losing the good rapport she had with the school the more she stirs the pot.

I don't know when all the results will be in about the transfer.

I do know that when my boss did some checking and found out that what I'm giving her daughter at my school isn't available at the other school, I had to chuckle. My boss called the Mother to let her know that, she was speechless.

I'm sure there will be an email tomorrow about that too.

I'll keep ya posted.

Life.
Is.
Good.
Even when God builds our character through others.

I wonder...

1. Why sometimes God speaks louder on some days than other days...
2. Why God does some things sometimes...
3. If jay knows that I think he's pretty cool...
4. Why some people are negative all the time..
5. Why some people take joy in emptying other people's buckets...
6. If Leesh knows she's one of my favorite people...
7. If Laura knows I can still hear her laugh when I think of her...
8. Why some people struggle financially and others don't...
9. If I will ever get married...
10. Why Jay barks at Scarecrows...
11. How D.D. is doing at my old school...
12. If I am filling enough buckets everyday...
13. What it would be like to not have a limp...
14. What Ryan Gray would be doing today if he was still alive...
15. Whatever happened to Steve Mynstead? He never did his work in school...
16. If there are better ways for me to teach kids how to read...
17. Why broken homes seem to be normal instead of abnormal...
18. If Karen knows I miss her 2 hour lunches...
19. Why some people lack motivation and others don't...
20. How dogs can think poop is tasty...
21. If Jay knows that cuddling with him at the end of each day is my favorite part of my day...
22. If my Grandparents know that I miss them as they live on life in Heaven...
23. Why toilet paper is so expensive when it just goes down the toilet...
24. Why kids don't want to take their coats out to recess and come in with red cheeks saying it wasn't cold out...
25. If Cory Asbury, Misty Edwards, and Matt Gilman will ever know how their lives have helped me grow closer to God just by them being themselves...
26. When I will have friends here to hang out with...
27. If G-Man knows how cool I think he is...
28. How God can forgive us, even when we make big mistakes...
29. When God will have me be on staff at IHOP-KC...
30. If my little people know that they are BIG in my world...
31. How Chase is doing in 3rd grade...
32. If MizzouKid realizes how much it means to me that he gave me an M&M dispenser today and he filled my bucket without even knowing it...
33. If Hebrews 11:1 means as much to you as it does to me...

Life.
Is.
Good.

How Full Is Your Bucket?

Last week I was praying about what our Women's Retreat Theme should be. Every year I've gone to the retreat in Branson, there was always a theme. Well, in light of the fact the mini-retreat would be here in the KC area, I knew it needed to be something special. I also knew that with just three of us, it would be a really neat time together, as we wouldn't be juggling a lot of people. Of course, I had trouble praying last week about it due to parent/teacher conferences since that was my main focus for the week. So Friday I went to the Prayer Room, and the Lord gave me a book to share! I was pumped, as I knew it was EXACTLY what all three of us needed.

The Book is titled "How Full Is Your Bucket?" I got the kids' versions to give to Laura and SingingGal. In the story, a boy had an issue with a younger sibling, and he lets her know that he's upset. The Grandfather in the story explains to the boy that he just emptied her "bucket." He explained to the boy that everyone has a (Metaphorical) bucket above their head and when good things are said and done to a person, their bucket is filled. In that same bucket, someone can have their bucket emptied when someone says or does something that hurts them or makes them sad. He explained that it's up to us to fill other people's buckets, and we don't want to be a person that empties other people's buckets. Obviously, in the children's story the boy learns how the bucket concept works and it has a happy ending.

This story was something that a friend of mine in Joplin introduced me to, and I use it in my classroom with my students. It has really impacted me.

So on Friday, the Lord told me He was going to fill our buckets! I was pumped! My bucket has felt so dry that there wasn't a drop left. You're probably thinking, "Well, what was so wrong?" Well, nothing in particular. I just felt that God was at arm's length, and I wanted that gap closed. I wanted new revelation, knowledge, and words from Him. And, within that, I wanted that for my friends even more than I wanted it for me.

I could sit here and give you a play-by-play of how God filled my bucket, but I won't. I will just say that tonight I sit here closer to God than I have felt since the night I encountered Him at EGS when Allen Hood spoke. I am in awe of how full my bucket feels tonight. Seriously.

My friends got theirs filled as well. Between the time in the Prayer Room, EGS, FCF, and fellowship, we all grew closer to each other, as well as to Him.

It's a weekend I will never forget...

So, I encourage you to do something. Try to fill someone else's bucket. It can be something as easy as smiling at the struggling mother at the store, or saying a kind word to someone, or just sending an email that says "Hey."

Because the coolest part of it all is that when you fill someone else's bucket, you fill yours as well!

By the way, we had the opportunity to put this into action while we were at breakfast Sunday. While sitting at a restaurant, our waiter was having a rough time with his manager. Honestly, the manager was emptying his bucket repeatedly. So, every time he came to check on us, we filled his bucket by saying kind things to him! :-)

Woop!

Life.
Is.
Good.

Prayer Room Ramblings

So this afternoon after I cleaned out my garage and got everything to the Recycle Center, I went to the Prayer Room. I will admit, I haven't been there nearly as much as I have wanted to be, so it was good to go and soak.

Justin Rizzo was leading when I got there and while he isn't my favorite, the set was really good. I was able to enter in fairly quickly and join in the singing.

After Justin was a different leader, who is new to me. The only person on the team that I recognized was Misty Edwards, and she was the prayer leader, not a singer. It was a good set, and I enjoyed it.

After that, I came home and walked Jay. Jay was quite excited about that since he missed out the past two days because of the parent/teacher conference days. It was quite cold here, so it was a brisk walk, but we both enjoyed it.

This evening I have spent more time in prayer and prepared for my guests who are arriving tomorrow.

We're having a miniature Women's Retreat. Laura and SingingGal are coming. I'm quite excited to see what God does in each of us this weekend. I know I enjoyed my time today in the Prayer Room, but I'm not where I want to be with God. It's kinda hard to explain, but I am desiring to be closer to Him than I am today. So, it will be cool to see what happens this weekend.

At 4pm Sunday we have appointments for the Prophecy Rooms. I'm excited!

This weekend is gonna rock!

Life.
Is.
Good.

Soft Bricks

The world of parent/teacher conferences is an interesting one. Honestly, unless you're a teacher, it's sort of hard to understand this side of the teacher's desk. I will admit, most of my conferences went well, as most of the kids are doing fine. However, there are about 5 who are struggling with some intense stuff that we had to discuss. My mentor, Karen, gives those of us who seek her counsel, information that is often in the form of a soft bricks. Meaning, it's the truth, but packaged very carefully. I felt like I delivered some soft bricks today myself. Karen would be proud actually...

First off, AutisticKid's parent's are coming to grips with his disability. While the chat wasn't easy, it was received well and the parents are open to any ideas I may have for them. That conference was actually easier than I expected it to be. Of course, I prayed all day over that one, as well as the others.

Secondly, AvoidingWorkKid's conference was about what I expected. While the parents are supportive of my ideas, sister was giving excuses for what AvoidingWorkKid has been doing. (Lying, Stealing) Soft bricks were delivered by me, which were accepted by parents, but not sister. My thought bubble in that conference was "If you want your brother to use his disability for an excuse, I have no sympathy. If I had done that, I wouldn't be here now." The beauty of thought bubbles is that you don't actually say what you're thinking. I respect the fact that family isn't there yet. I'm praying though that God will open that door. I don't want this kid to have a crutch at all!

Next, I attended a conference for SafeSeatKid, who is in the safe seat more than he's out. While it was definitely a Soft Brick meeting all the way around, the parent was more receptive than I expected her to be. I was up and ready to leave the meeting early to go to another meeting when God told me to sit. I sat and when I went to excuse myself I said, "Please don't just hear us saying bad stuff about your son. He's a very caring kid (Okay, it was a stretch, but she needed something positive!) who loves others." She started crying as she held my hand. While the meeting was hard, I knew that was the reason God had me there!

Finally, the most touching conference was earlier this afternoon when MizzouKid's Mom and Dad came in. While I talk to her everyday, it was hard for her to see that her child is still struggling. I feel so blessed to be a part of this kid's life. I really do. I just pray that at the next conference, I'll have some good news for her.

Now for the BEST news of the day....I HAVE A THREE DAY WEEKEND!

And...

I'm hosting a mini-women's retreat this weekend! Complete with a trip to the Prophecy Rooms on Sunday!

Woop! Woop!

Life.
Is.
Good.

You wouldn't think....

...that a little can of Pepsi would be the highlight of my day, but it was!

Parent/Teacher conferences are today and tomorrow, and unless you're a teacher, you really don't know the stress it puts teachers under. While some conferences go fine, others are difficult as we have to often deliver less-than-ideal news. On top of that, I found out this morning that I had some additional IEP paperwork to do that I didn't know about prior to this morning. Which led to me running around like the world was coming to an end. In fact, I didn't say a word, just moved like I haven't moved in quite a while.

I had been doing well, as I was doing thought bubbles instead of letting the world know I was a bit stressed at that moment. Gotta love BIST training, as they really emphasized the "thought bubble" analogy that I have taken as my own. (Aren't you amazed I actually paid attention on the 3 Saturdays the training was held?)

So, I was in the file room working on the extra paperwork, and my principal walked in with an 8 ounce bottle of Pepsi for me!

I stood there and said, "AWWWWWW how cute! THANKS!" And proceeded back into my little order of chaos that was my life at that moment.

Later in the day I returned to my room after an odd parent/teacher conference and I saw the little can of Pepsi, and it made me smile.

I tell ya, it really doesn't take much to make teachers happy! Seriously...

Life.
Is.
Good.

Especially when someone's nice just because they want to be!

Circumstantial Evidence, Errands, and Construction Crews!

Yesterday was the first day that I can recall not posting since I've moved to the big city. Why? Well, as it turns out, the city has decided to do some work on my street. They are also expanding the highway behind me, so it's busy around here! In the midst of that, something got hit, and I was without internet, cable, and phone service for about 24 hours. Anywho, this short little gal is GLAD to have it all back on. Only bummer is that I missed last night's TV line-up. Then again, life goes on, right? :-)

Today was full of drama. I have to admit, I was a bit stressed by it because I am so busy preparing for parent/teacher conferences that I really didn't want to deal with other stuff. I should have prayed about that though! :-)

It must be some sort of tradition in the world of education that a Book Fair is held the week of parent/teacher conferences. Every year I have taught that has been the case, and we're having one now at my new school. While it's a great idea, as the parents come in and spend money, it's a nightmare for teachers because of the issues of money as well as products mysteriously disappearing. Yeah, you see where this story is going...

I have AvoidingWorkKid, who I have blogged about before. He's a decent kid, but has already been caught stealing red-handed in the cafeteria, and has lied to me twice this year about stuff he really didn't have to lie about. Lying+stealing=not able to trust this kid.

So this morning, one of my students brought in all the stuff that she had bought at the book fair. She had two posters and two erasers. In hindsight, I should have told her to take her stuff back to her other classroom, but I didn't know what was going to happen. AvoidingWorkKid and this gal are in the same group.

So AvoidingWorkKid left at 10:30, while BookFairGirl stayed until noon. At a little before noon, BookFairGirl said, "I can't find my eraser." We looked on the floor as well as all over the room and couldn't find it. I told her it was too bad but there wasn't anything I could do. I let it go and the kids went back to class.

At 12:30 AvoidingWorkKid came in, handed me the eraser, and said, "Here give this to BookFairGirl, I found it on the floor."

Hum....we had looked on the floor...

And, how did he know it was BookFairGirl's? He wasn't in the room when we did the search...

I looked at him and said, "You found it on the floor? Hum, because we looked there before lunch..."

He replied with "Well, maybe it was in a desk then..."

Hum...we checked all the desks...

I followed with, "Okay, so how did you get it then?"

He said, "I don't know!"

To which I replied, "You know, I think you took it."

He just looked at me and said, "I didn't steal it!"

Hum....stuff wasn't adding up, the kid had lied to me before, and has also stolen before.

Needless to say, he lost his recess while we tried to process with him (the big BIST word "process"), and he just sat there and cried saying he hadn't stolen it. I explained to him that a natural consequence of lying previously is that we can't believe him now. I honestly believe he did it.

So, it is all circumstantial, as I didn't actually see him take it, but I know this kid well enough to know that he isn't stupid. He wasn't wanting to go home and explain to his parents what had happened. He's from another culture and this is a big deal in that family.

So, when his parents came to get him, I explained the whole thing to them. I even played the "It is circumstantial, but..." card.
While they played the ADHD card, it was clear they got it. I'll be anxious to see what tomorrow holds.. Makes me wonder if he'll change his behavior. I pray that he does...

On a more humorous note, I was working with a third grader today on a writing assignment that he had to do for his regular teacher. We had the work done and I said, "Hey, Ash, run and see if your teacher wants this page colored." He turned to leave and then looked at me and said, "Can I really run or do I need to walk?"

After I stopped laughing he said, "I need to walk don't I?"

Yep.

Love this job.

Even when kids lie and steal there is still humor in the day...

Life.
Is.
Good.

Shuttling God's Kids...

I have had several people ask me how big the Shuttle is that I drive at IHOP-KC, so tonight while it was slow I took I picture. It's not the most fantastic picture, but I had just had two passengers board the shuttle so I didn't want to make them wait too long!

Tonight was really fun. More and more people are getting to know me by face or by name, so it's fun to have people hopping on the shuttle and saying, "Hey, Shortone!" It's been neat. I find myself praying for several of them throughout the week and then praying on Sunday afternoon that I will see them Sunday night to hear how they are doing. One of them sought me out to tell me how he was doing, which blessed me immensely. I know this whole deal isn't huge, but I truly believe that it is a start to me making friends here. I know just driving Sunday evenings makes me feel connected, like I am not the only one doing this thing, seeking God in the midst of the world we live in today. When I sit and hear about people praying through stuff, or just waiting on God, or simply sharing their journey in the race, it reminds me that I'm not alone. I'm blessed to be a part of a community that is wholeheartedly seeking God to the best of their ability.

And that makes me smile. :-)

Life.
Is.
Good.

Shuttle #2

Today I went and drove the shuttle for the conference at IHOP-KC. I find myself enjoying the shuttle gig more and more each time I drive. Today I met a guy from New Zealand who is here until God tells him to go somewhere else. I tell ya, after hearing his story, it made my journey here seem like a piece of cake!

I also saw Payton, the guy I prayed for a couple weeks ago. It was GREAT to see him, and it was probably the highlight of my day! He took over driving my shuttle, which was really cool too! Good stuff.

I enjoyed being a leader today on the shuttle too. I was on a team with some new drivers, and it was really fun to help them out. I really thought that was neat. We even had one guy who took on the nickname Scooter! I love it! Good times.

A funny moment came when one of them said, "This is Vic in shuttle 2..."

I stopped and thought...hey, I'm in shuttle 2!

I said, "Um, I thought I was shuttle 2!"

To which he replied, "Yeah, I guess you are!"

I smiled, and I'm pretty sure he did too.

I followed with, "No worries, just givin' ya a hard time."

And I laughed.

Life.
Is.
Good.

:-)

One Little Comment...

Today was a good day. I am really enjoying half days with kids and the other half of the day to do paperwork. I wish we had that one day per month. There is always work to be done, and that would be cool. However, until they ask my opinion, I'll just feel blessed to have the half days that I do.

So this afternoon I returned from lunch and one of my 4th grade teachers wanted to meet with me about our students. She has been really good to work with and works hard to make sure my students are making progress. While we spent most of our time talking about kids, we managed to talk about personal stuff too. I was sort of caught off-guard by one of her comments.

I was sharing with her how I had moved here to be closer to IHOP-KC and that I drive the shuttle on Sunday Evenings and REALLY enjoy it. She looked at me and said, "Wow, a shuttle? You really aren't disabled, are you?"

I smiled and made some remark about how the limp isn't a hinderance to me and changed the subject to other things.

I will admit, it gave me mixed feelings. On one hand, it frustrated me that we have worked together 9 weeks and she still saw me as "disabled." On the other hand, I was glad I was able to break that mindset that she had. She wasn't being mean or anything like that, so it didn't hurt me. It just reminded me that some people still have me there even after being in that school for a quarter of a school year. In my mind I thought I was past most of that.

So, in the end, I think it was good for me to hear it.

And it reminds me how many people are watching, and how I want to make a positive impact on those watching...

Hum......

Life.
Is.
Good.

Especially when people figure out I'm not disabled! :-)

An Unexpected Blessing

Today was a really good day compared to yesterday. I had a few character-building moments yesterday that made me want the day to end, but today was MUCH BETTER. I have many good stories I could choose from to share tonight, but I have decided to go with the most touching moment of the day.

Yesterday I came home and asked God what I was doing here. I miss my old friends, church, and school. I was basically whining to God. I can only imagine God looking at us when we are like that and thinking, "Just wait and see what I have for you..." After today, I am convinced that He loves us even when we act like toddlers and complain to Him....

I have been tutoring FaveKid for several weeks now, and I REALLY enjoy it. I volunteered to do it, as he is my student who works the hardest for me, but also struggles the most with staying on task. I only tutor him two days a week, so it's a pretty fun gig. I don't do it for pay, I just do it because it was something God had laid on my heart as I was praying over who to tutor this year.

So last week I was in a meeting and the parents of AvoidingWorkKid asked me if I would tutor their son two or three days a week. I honestly didn't want to do it. I mean, in a selfish way I really enjoyed only being tied up two afternoons a week. Last year I was tutoring two kids (one for pay and one for free) and I was busy EVERY day. So after the parents asked me, I heard the Lord nudging me to do it. I was honestly frustrated because I didn't want more work. However, I know better than to tell the Lord "No." So I accepted the tutoring gig.

Today I started with AvoidingWorkKid after school, and it went well. I will admit, he tried to avoid work every chance he got, but it was easier to deal with him since it was just the two of us. I also feel it will be a good avenue to build a better relationship with him. He's in sixth grade, so it's not like he'll be with me again next year, so it's kinda cool.

After tutoring, his Mom was waiting for him. I walked him out and explained to her what we had gotten done. (Which wasn't much because we had to clean out his desk and notebook and sift through all his unfinished work that he had tried to hide so he wouldn't have to do it. I told him that if I just hid my electric bill and didn't pay it, lights would be off, but he didn't seem to get it.) After explaining it all, she handed me an envelope and said they want to pay me for tutoring. This kid and his family are from another country and she let me know (when I tried to not take the money) that it would be an insult to them if I didn't let them pay. I stood there, smiled, and said, "Thank You. That is very kind of you."

When I moved here, I gave up one tutoring gig for the dream of being closer to IHOP-KC.

And God gave me THE EXACT SAME AMOUNT per hour that I was making before in my previous tutoring job in my last chapter of my life.

I walked back to my classroom, looked around the HUGE room, and told the Lord "Thanks."

I hadn't even prayed for the money but God knows our hearts and (I think) sometimes just wants to bless us.

And to remind us that we're right where He wants us.

Thank You, Lord!

Life.
Is.
Good.

Quote for the Day!

After school I was tutoring FaveKid and he turned to me after I had taught him how to figure "X" in the math problem, and he smiled and said, "This is easy!" I cracked up. I looked at him and said, "You know, you crack me up! I like you!" To which he replied "That's what they all say!"

That made me grin even more!

:-)
Life.
Is.
Good.

Fear

This morning I was getting ready for school and had K-Love Radio on, and the announcer gave a challenge that I have contemplated all day long. She said, "What would you do if fear didn't stand in your way of anything?"

That made me stop.

I put down my curling iron and thought about it.

Hum....what would I do without fear...

I have thought about it all day.

And still have some pondering to do.

A friend of mine told me once that I'm a great ponderer.

I'll let you know what I decide after I do more pondering....

What would you do if fear didn't stand in your way of anything?

Makes ya think, doesn't it?

Life.
Is.
Good.

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

So this morning I was introducing our words for the week and was teaching the reading rule that states "change the Y to I and add ES." I had the words listed on my board, and I was asking them questions to get them to understand the rule. What I said is what follows:

"Okay, so how do we make the word puppy plural?"

The students gave me the right answer.

"Okay, so how do we make the word cherry plural?"

The students gave the right answer.

I thought they had it, so I followed with:

"Okay, so how do we make babies?"

Yeah, needless to say, I got some looks and immediately caught my bad phrasing of words and said, "I mean, how do we spell the word babies?"

Life.
Is.
Good.

Even when you have some 6th graders in the room who catch your mistake! :-)

Quiet House

I had IHOPPers come and spend the weekend with me, and here I sit with a REALLY quiet house.

I miss them already.

Life.
Is.
Good.

Today's Highlights!

Today was quite a day. I have had a terrific time with my guests this weekend. Worshipleader and his family have been here since last night, and we have had a great time! I wanted to share a few highlights:

1. Goofysingergirl is 7 years old and decided to sit in the baby swing at the park last night. Her Mom and I sat there and said, "How cute!" It was cute until she tried to get out of the swing and was stuck! It took 3 of us to get her out. At one point I was laughing so hard I stopped walking so I wouldn't have a ba-dump moment! It was GREAT!

2. I took the kids on a walk this afternoon after my workshop, and we went down to the park again. G-man joined us, and a GREAT time was had by all. My favorite part was when Drummerboy gave Middlegirl his coat because she was so cold. Ah, a brother and sister being nice to each other...what a treat!

3. This evening we went to pick up Drummerboy from EGS and on the way the girls and I were singing to Cory Asbury's new CD. Goofysingergirl was singing in a funny little voice that just made me grin ear to ear. It's not everyday I get to hear kids praising the Lord. It was definitely the highlight of my day.

4. Worshipleaderguy got my wireless set up! Woop!

Life.
Is.
Good.

Fridays

I think I was more ready for Friday this week than I have been the past couple weeks. I must admit, I like Jeans Day. I also like playing educational games with the kids, as they're learning and it's less stress. So, I have guests for the weekend, and I am ready to have some fun. Well, okay, I have BIST training tomorrow, and then it will be fun!

Life.
Is.
Good.

The Spring Resort is Open!

This weekend I have IHOPPERS coming to visit!

Woop! Woop!

Life.
Is.
Good.

Scarecrows

While walking Jay tonight on our walk, he took one look at a scarecrow and started barking at it like it was a real person.

Go figure.

My dog is "special."

Life.
Is.
Good.

Even when your dog thinks a scarecrow is a person!

Doing What I'm Created To Do

Today was one of those days I have thought a lot about how I'm crafted to be a teacher. I have thought a lot today about how no one really taught me how to connect with kids, I just do. And this isn't meant to be a pride thing, it's a God thing.

Tonight we had McTeacher Night at McDonald's and I was the gal giving out the hats! I was connecting with kids I don't have in my classroom, I just know that they go to my school. I was joking, laughing, and having a GREAT time with them! It was GREAT.

I was thinking on the drive home that no one taught me how to joke with them, I just know how. I believe that was given to me by God. And, I am so very thankful because everyday I wake up and go to a job that I LOVE!

Thank you, God.

Life.
Is.
Good.

I'm All About Bribery...

Okay, well, in a small, legal way, not as in a "go to jail" sort of way...

Tomorrow night is the big "McTeacher" night in Lee's Summit for my school. Actually, I sit here and realize that it's October already...where did August go? Anyway, we've all known about this since before school started and we really have zero excuse not to have signed up yet, but being the busy teachers that we are, it took a backseat to the rest of our responsibilities. So today I went in to make a copy in the copy room, and there was a sign up sheet. I signed my name for a thirty minute shift, and walked away. Later in the day, there was an email. A very good email, in my opinion.

It stated that the good news was the some people had signed up. The bad news was that NOONE signed up for the 6-7 shifts. Apparently 5-5:30 makes it easier for someone to make an appearance and be at home to relax easier than the 6-6:30 shift. Yes, I'll admit, that was my logic when I signed up. So, they sent out a plea...

Sign up for a 6-6:30 or 6:30-7 shift, and you can wear jeans tomorrow! Woop!

I tell ya, they do that A LOT here.

We had a jeans day for 100% PTA participation.
We had a jeans day for giving to the United Way.
We had a jeans day for giving to the Lee's Summit Foundation.

Okay, well, each of those required a $5 donation, but I have to admit, it made me participate.

You have to admit, it costs the district NOTHING and it really makes teachers happy.

Oh, and did I mention I get to wear jeans EVERY Friday as well?

Ah...I LOVE THIS PLACE!

Life.
Is.
Good.

Lunch!

I tell ya what, Laura is one of my FAVORITE people on the whole planet!

After church, we went out to lunch. And, finding Olive Garden actually took longer than eating lunch, I think. We both laughed though, stating that it gave us a lot of time to just talk and get caught up. It was A LOT of fun. And, by far, the highlight of my weekend!

Woop!

Life.
Is.
Good.

The Snap!

When I was a kid, my Dad had us trained very well. From a young age, I remember playing with my brother and when we got out of hand, (from anywhere in the house) he could snap and we would shape up. I remember at one point my brother and I were playing (and ended up fighting, as all siblings do from time to time) and we heard the snap and I was hoping that we wouldn't hear footsteps next because that meant a spanking. We were not abused kids by ANY stretch of the imagination, and today I am a person that believes in spankings. My brother and I were spanked for misbehavior when we needed to be held accountable for our actions, and it paid off.

(I could start my little soapbox here about how many children today could benefit from a good spanking but I will refrain. My soapbox wasn't the reason for this post.)

So, I have pondered the snap over the years, and what a powerful tool that was for my Dad. From what I remember, it actually prevented us from the spanking stage numerous times. Which is REALLY cool in my book! It also taught me how to respect my parents. While they didn't say to me "This snap means you're to respect me and do what I say" when I was a toddler, I still got it.

So tonight as I was sitting at dinner with my family, the check came for the dinner. I stole it when Dad wasn't looking, so I could pay for it. Dad immediately wanted it back. I turned to Scienceguy and said something about trying to get away with it, and he said it wasn't likely to work. I smiled.

Then I looked at Dad, and he wanted it back.

Then...

He snapped at me with his fingers!

I said, "I got the snap!" and smiled.

Needless to say, he got it back and paid the bill.

Thinking about it all now makes me smile.

Who would've thought that a snap would make such an impact on one's life? Seriously.

Hum....

Life.
Is.
Good.

Late tomorrow night...

...after Laura attends a wedding up north, she's crashin' here and hangin' with me Sunday!

Double Woop!

Life.
Is.
GREAT.

Choosing to be Positive

You ever have a day that was really character-building? Where you wanted to just curl up in bed and make the day end? That was my day yesterday. Not only was a tough at work, I was having a Crohn's Flare-up, so I felt sick as well. Yeah, it was my hardest day so far. I could do a re-play of the events for you, but I'm going to skip it. It was one day, and life goes on.

Today was somewhat better. Tomorrow ends the DRA stress, then I can focus on Goal Tracker and prepare for parent/teacher conferences in two weeks. I will say I felt better and had less stress overall at work. While the jury is still out on a meeting I had yesterday, there's not a thing I can do about it now, so Monday I will find out the outcome of it.

For now, I see a book and my bed in my future.

Life.
Is.
Good.