Friday, September 28, 2012

Thankful Thursday on Finally Friday

I know, I know, a day late. A dollar short.  Story of my life.

I don't know what it is about conferences that takes it out of me, but it does.

Whatever "it" is.

Anyway, I did want to do a Thankful Thursday.

So I will.

Just on Friday.  Finally Friday.

What am I thankful for recently?
  • Conferences are over and done with until February! I do love talking to parents about their children; I learn so much.  However, it is hard being away from my own family in the evenings.  And it is really tiring after teaching all day.
  • My own kids' conferences are over with!  Overall, they were pretty positive. I am so very thankful for ALL of their teachers.  And I am thankful for my kids.
  • Thankful for a hubby who sends me sweet love texts mid-week, out of the blue.
  • Thankful for chocolate.  My little bit of pleasure every single day.
  • Thankful for my class.  I find myself smiling and relaxing, letting the cares of the world slip away, when I am with my students.
  • Thankful for encouraging friends
  • Pinterest. I find some good recipes on there.  Good school activities too.
  • a hard-working hubby
  • no football games this weekend
  • my crockpot
  • cards and pictures made by my students or my own kids
  • listening to Child 4 "read"
  • watching Child 3 do some really hard math. I have no idea how she does it but she almost always gets the right answer
  • my eternal optimist (Child 2)
  • how responsible Child 1 has become this year (let's hope that continues)
  • intern solo week coming up.  It is hard not to be in front of the classroom all day but it is such a valuable experience for the intern (and the kids). Plus, I can hopefully catch up on some assessments.
  • blue jeans (just because they are comfortable)
  • watching 5 year olds play t-ball
  • two more pounds to go to my goal weight!
  • my bed...comfy and warm and inviting me to sleep.
Heading there right now.

What are you thankful for this week?


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary...

How does your garden grow?

This nursery rhyme has been going through my mind this summer.

I don't think it is a big secret that we had kind of a rough summer.  One of our children was just a lot more challenging this summer than he/she has been before.

All I had planned (lots of organizing, some book reading, etc) went out the window as I found myself immersed in parenting books looking for any suggestions to help.

Between reading and putting things into practice...

There went my summer.

Toward the end of the summer I met with a lady I somewhat knew.  She actually studied under the author of one my parenting books.  (If you have adopted, I HIGHLY recommend "The Connected Child" by Karyn Purvis)

My friend J spent a couple hours listening to me, offering me advice, giving me perspective.

I needed that.

Too bad I hadn't met with her at the beginning of the summer. :)

One of the things I said to J though was "I have been parenting for a long time. It has worked well for two of them, fairly well for a third. Why is it not working here? Why can't this child just be normal like other kids?"

Because you know other kids look SOOOO much more normal than your own.

Or at least for me they do.

My friend J shared an analogy with me, thus the title of this post.

"You go to a store to buy some plants. Some plants are garden variety. You can just water them, give them sunlight, but you don't have to do anything special. They will just grow.  Others are specialty plants. They require special care to grow and blossom."


So true.

My typical parenting worked for my kids.  Most of them.

But for one of mine (and really, probably some for another one), special care and special parenting methods were needed.

That week changes were made.

And while we still have some work ahead of us (and don't we always as parents?), we are seeing that the changes were needed.

Don't get me wrong.  It has been just as much a time of growth for me as it has for the child.  Probably more.

I have had to rethink.  Redo.  Commit more time and energy than I was before.

And unfortunately, it feels like much of the world must be growing the garden variety.  And there is often a judgment against those specialty plants and their parents.  Sad but true.

I thought years ago, we had planted those garden variety kids.  In our minds, our ideals, our dreams, they are.  They will be easy, require basic care, and will just flourish.

Yet somehow I had a specialty plant or two planted in my garden.

And like any true gardener, we will give the care and attention required be our little blossoms to help them to grow.

PS Thankfully our kids thrive much better than plants in our house; I have a black thumb :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Thankful (Is It Really Only) Thursday

I really hope to get back to writing more than a post or two between Thankful Thursdays.  Eventually. Obviously it won't be this week. :)


What a week.

It hasn't been a horrible week. Just an exhausting one. 

But even in the midst of exhaustion, there are things to be thankful for...

  • Labor Day.  I am pretty sure it was designed for teachers and students who need a four day week after the beginning of the school year.
  • Dinner with my parents (our grilling smorgasbord)
  • My children.  They make me laugh (when they aren't making me cry :)
  • A hubby who works his schedule around my faculty meetings
  • Beautiful sunsets (tonight's was breathtaking)
  • My bed.  The one I keep falling asleep on instead of blogging.
  • Air conditioning (especially when we climb back to the triple digits)
  • Journals with my girls. We don't write in them every day but we do fairly regularly.  One daughter has a journal where she can just write and ask me questions or vent.  The other is more of a question/answer journal. I ask her questions (some fun, some serious) and she responds.  She is a bit on the quieter side side so it gives me insight to what she is thinking.
  • The pick up basket. At night (MOST nights), anything left out in the living room/kitchen area that doesn't belong there ends up in the pick up basket. To get their items back, the kids have to do a chore (one per item). I have never had my house dusted so much!  
  • My dishwasher.  It works overtime.
  • Dates with the hubby. Even if they are just quick trips to the grocery store
  • Weekends.  No homework. :)
  • Green grass. We are still considered "in a drought" but I am thrilled we have green grass these days.
  • Interns. It is WONDERFUL having an extra pair of hands in my room this time of year. :)
I know there are many more things I could share. But I also know I have to get up in a few hours and teach 19 eager children.

So I better quit for the night.

What are you thankful for this week?


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Full Moon Friday

I wanted SOOOO much to do a Thankful Thursday. I really did. 

And I was thankful.

But getting it from my head to my fingertips (on the computer keyboard) was a challenge.  Mainly because my eyes kept closing.

So I will just be thankful for Friday, full moon and all.  (Just ask my opinion about whether I think a full moon affects the behavior of others... :)

So what am I thankful for this week?
  • my co-workers
  • a patient teacher for child 4
  • a spontaneous family trip to my favorite Shave the Planet so I could enjoy my last Hog Wild of the season
  • little successes. In kindergarten, we celebrate those little successes the first weeks.  Things like getting in line successfully, a quiet story time, a remembered routine
  • a sweet class
  • morning snacks.  I just started this with my class, just a little something to tide the kids over from their breakfast to their lunch. It makes a difference. It only took me 20 years to figure that out!  (We have always had an afternoon snack)
  • helpful suggestions for my own children
  • a furry dog that bounces around with joy when we come home
  • a mom who is willing to help when hubby is out of town
  • encouraging comments
  • a new shirt (representing my son's junior high now that I am a cross country mom)
  • cooler temperatures
  • rain!
  • my crockpot
  • a hubby who goes out to get me a sweet treat after a long day
  • getting caught up on the laundry- at least for a few minutes
  • new shoes
  • a clean dog (who had a bath suddenly after deciding to dig in the mud/dirt)
  • dark chocolate.  A necessity.
  • hearing my youngest read to me
  • seeing Child 3's smiles after a good day at school
  • watching Child 2 braid her sister's hair
  • watching Child 1 run cross country, determined to finish (which is much more than I could do :)
These are just a few things I am thankful for.

What about you?