Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Monday, December 2, 2013
All of a sudden, the magic happened. My little word caller picked a book that was too hard for him to read previously, and he read it. All on his own. Changing his voices for appropriate onomatopoeia. Recalling and retelling the story we had previously read. Persistence has paid off. I am so proud of him.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
"Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come." Matthew 24
Last night I was trolling Facebook. Sometimes, I find myself in a labyrinth when click after click occurs. I happened upon a post from the daughter of an old friend. I pieced together that her dad, my friend's husband, had passed away sometime this summer from lung cancer. That very morning, a friend and I were discussing the sudden death of a young man, and how finite of a time we all have on this earth. We all have a starting point. And for all of us, we have an end. We have no idea when that end point will be. We must live our days as if it will be the next moment, or at least TRY to do so.
I started my day going to Mass at a different church today. Our pastor also pastors this church. It is our sister parish, St. Mary's. In his homily today he shared the story of a phone call he got on Friday night from a friend who was told he had about a week to live. Cancer struck again. They knew this would be their last call. His friend, also a priest, shared with him that this is what they had been preaching about their whole adult lives: meeting God in heaven. He could have despaired, but he was rejoicing. What a message.
It truly stuck with me through my day. Today was filled with a great deal of professional work. I spent a lot of time in my classroom (accompanied by Max). For whatever reason, it did not feel like drudgery, even though I was there for quite some time (5 hours). Then, I came home, ate, and had to do some grading. I squeezed a relaxing bath in there, too. Despite wanting to go down to the basement and demolish our wireless router, it really was somewhat pleasant. What a gift, as many parts of my day could have completely stressed me out.
Other snippets of the day included:
- Max believing that Father Jerry was indeed two separate people as he tried to accept his celebration of Mass in a different location.
- Threatening my firstborn with physical harm if he ended up with a C in AP English for the quarter.
- Pretty much eating out for each meal today (McDonalds. Subway, Fazolis).
- Seeing and communicating with a variety of friends via Facebook, text message, and in real life.
- Unpacking the Advent wreath and chilling to end my day.
In the scrapbooking world, there is a thing called "December Dailies." It is meant to be a way to document your steps through the holiday season. Scrapbookers, such as Ali Edwards, have even perfected it into profitable pursuits. We Catholics have called this phenomenon "Advent." I decided to do a December Dailies type of gig this year for several reasons:
- I think it's kind of cool that Advent actually started on December 1. Now all those little "Advent calendars" that have 25 days in them will actually work!
- This is my year of slowing my row. Taking back and soaking in. A great year to document daily happenings.
- I am completing Project Life, and I will be doing a daily photo anyway (well, that's the target). This works perfectly with that.
Onward to December Dailies of 2013.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
In a recent trip to Florida, the hubs and I talked about living there. My conclusion? Nope. Why? I love the change of seasons.
Fall brings changing leaves, cooler temperatures, and brilliant colors. In my life, it also means a new group of students and a new year of learning for the whole family. Winter brings the wonderful blanket of snow (some years more than others), the holidays, and the chill necessary for renewal. Spring brings buds, and blooms, and the promise that, no matter what dormancy we've seen, life goes on.
And then there's summer. I must say, it is my favorite. It contains my birthday, the hubs' birthday, our anniversary, the Fourth of July, and usually some much needed "recharging." I get to mainly be a wife and mom, with some professional development sprinkled here and there. We also have time to take extended trips and spend quality time together as a family.
Usually, I feel like summer flies by. But, in reality, summer has roughly the same amount of days every year. This summer, I was intentional and consistent about documenting my days in Project Life scrapbook layouts. If you click on the link, you can see them on my sscrapbooking blog. I am currently working on my Disney weeks. They should be up in the next few days.
You know what? It makes summer seem quite long and entirely enjoyable. I not only enjoy making the pages, but also I enjoy looking at them and seeing a really full, delightful summer. I think my doing a photo-a-day concept has allowed me to appreciate the days that go by. I am glad to have documented them, and maybe slowed the passage of time just a bit to savor moments like this one:
Friday, July 19, 2013
Our Summer 2013 Road Trip begins today! On our way to Orlando, FL, eventually, we departed Central IL. Max was so excited he awakened at midnight and did not go to sleep much before 2:30 or 3 AM.
Yet, look how perky he was! All ready with the "stuff," despite the adults and semi-adult not being as "ready" as he.
We just recently stopped in Salem, IL, off of I-57 South for a potty break and to top off the tank in our new Audi Allroad. We definitely realized the space differences between this and our beloved, and now traded in, minivan. We are pretty snugly packed for sure!
Thursday, July 4, 2013
The Fourth of July is, hands down, my favorite holiday of the year. It is smack dab in the middle of summer. Many people have off from work (I recall my days in retail when that was not so!). There are fireworks going off everywhere. We take a moment to really reflect about our country and what patriotism really means.
I am openly critical of the government in my country because the government is set up to protect my speech. I am allowed, whether my opinion is deemed "right" or "wrong," to criticize. That does not mean I am not a staunch supporter of the United States. The little face up above is why I would not want to live anywhere else.
In the public school system in my country, my son had the opportunity to enroll in school at age 3, as he was presenting developmental delays due to his autism disorder diagnosis. He was not speaking. He was not communicating well. We were working with him, but he needed a jump start. He was presented with that opportunity. We slowly but surely progressed through Early Childhood, into Kindergarten, and through Grades 1 and 2. He made tremendous gains. He speaks. He holds conversations. He can read and write and complete math problems. He can be a part of a class and, with the help of an aide, merge socially.
While Max's story is kind of a big deal, we have "big deals" happening all over public and private schools in our country. Teachers who find that magic balance...the pixie dust...that allows a child to bloom at just the right time. There are other countries who do not have this. There are other countries where students with disabilities are marginalized and treated as less than they really are. In the history of our own country, we have come a great distance in the area of teaching the developmentally delayed.
So, on this July 4, 2013, I feel particular pride in our country. We teach each and every child. We train teachers to treat children with dignity and respect, despite their backgrounds or abilities. I am part of this educational system, and I feel fortunate that my children are as well. With all of the system's flaws, we are definitely doing some things right.