Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Length of Summer

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

The trek begins!

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

Being an American

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.