Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer Reading

So far:

1. Splendors and Glooms (MG/YA novel) - fantastic, dark, magical mystery about the joy of finding "home."

2. Me Talk Pretty One Day - I slugged through...I found one bright spot.  Thats all.  Period.

3. The Lightning Thief - (MG novel) fantastic!  Makes me want to study Greek History!  Can't wait to read the rest of this series.

4. Reading Lolita in Tehran -


5. The Storyteller - fantastic fiction set during the Holocaust

6. Two Kisses for Maddy - sadly happy!


7. Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children

8. Moon over Manifest - Love, love, love - speakeasies, Spanish influenza, finding out where you came from, the bond between a father and daughter - excellent young adult read!

9. Redeeming Love - BEST. BOOK. EVER. God's love is sooo good!

10. Hattie Big Sky

More updates to come!  So many on my "to read list" this summer!

11. The Diviners

12. Wonder

13. A Tangle of Knots

14. Glory Be

15. Wedding Night - hilarious and light!

Welcome Summer

I sit quietly typing in the dark as my family sleeps.  Ruffled hair and flushed cheeks snore softly as tiny toes peek out from under blankets reaching for a cool breeze from the moisture sodden air blowing in from the open windows.  I love summer!

Just a few short days in and a new kind of routine has taken the place of our school year busy-ness.  We are more relaxed.  We sleep later, play longer, and wear our pajamas well into the start of a new day.  Sometimes I get children are one and three, but then my husband reminds me to take time for what is important.  What is important isn't the laundry or the dishes (though these do beg to be done from time to time).  I must remind myself that in having children, I traded sandy smiles and grass stained knees for an orderly home...and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Hello summer and Welcome!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Letter to a Fellow Teacher and Friend

Dear Friend ~

When I first met you two summers ago, I knew you were kind and maybe we were like souls.  When I later spent time wandering Barnes and Noble with you, I was convinced we were.  Now as you prepare to move on to the next leg of your journey, I only wish I would have spent more time with you, cultivating our friendship and sharing our likenesses. 

I know this move is bittersweet for you, but I have no doubt that you will excel no matter where the wind blows you.  You are a model for what I think every teacher should be.  Sure we all have our own style, but the love you have for your students and the compassion you have for all those around you is enviable.  I naively thought when I went into teaching myself that all teachers felt that way about their students, but sadly, I was mistaken.  You are one of few and I know your good heart will stand the test of time.

I know it is a clichĂ© to say "keep in touch,"  however, I truly want to keep in touch.  I want to see what you become Miss McLean. I want to share books, stories, and photos of our families.  You have made a fantastic impression on me and the students we share.  You are irreplaceable and will be greatly missed.

Great things are in your future...namely a friendly gathering tomorrow, book club this summer, and a wedding within the year!

***She is leaving our school to be with her fiancĂ© because they could not both get jobs within our district.  She is young, bright, and so very full of amazingness! 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Just Be

I meant to write earlier this week. I meant to write a reflective, heartfelt piece all about what being a mother and Mother's Day means to me. But I didn't.

The truth is, I don't need to write a beautiful, heartfelt piece just to affirm that I am a good mother. What I do need to do is just be. Just be myself, just be a mother to my boys, just spend time with them without plans and checklists and to dos.

My husband has been away all week for work, my oldest went to the farm with my parents, so it was just me and my baby last night. At first, I thought of it as an opportunity to get all kinds of things done, checked off my list, but then I realized...I don't ever get this one on one oldest had two years full of mommy time, but not my baby. So I decided to forget the list and just BE.

Today - I am encouraging others to forget the list (its super hard), leave the dishes in the sink (or at least the dishwasher, leave the clothes on the floor, and leave the finger prints on the window. Tomorrow is a new day and these moments of brief one on one time with our children last only for a short while. Today - I am encouraging others to just BE.

My new daily to do list goes something like this:

Take time to:
play tractors

These are the things that matter most. The rest can wait. Just BE.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Confessions of a Book Hoarder

I love books. 

I have books in ever nook and cranny in both my classroom and my house.

I buy another book even when I still have ten (or 20) more in my to read pile.

I think the book is always better than the movie.

I have a book in my purse at all times...just in case (of what I'm not sure...a train stop...a wait at the Dr...a natural disaster in which all other books are I just can't bare to be without a book!?!)

As a child, I took a stack of books everywhere (yes this dates me a e readers yet).

My dad put carpet on the tractor floor...I alternated between sleeping, reading, eating snacks, and the occasional singing, but mostly reading and sleeping.

I have multiple book wish lists, sorted by interest level and topic.

I have read the entire Harry Potter series 3 times.

I have read Black Beauty more times than I can count.

I like the feel of a book in my hands.

My hubby and I were once asked to leave the public library because they were closing.

I could spend hours in Barnes and Noble.

I am a book nerd and love it!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What Good Did God Give You Today?

This is the phrase I ask my 3 year old every night before bed.  I ask because I want to know and because I want him to know that God gives all things.  Sometimes he lists his toys.  Other nights, his Grammi and Papa, and still others, activities we have done as a family.

Last night, while eating supper on the deck, in the beautiful May weather, he proclaimed, "God gave us eating?  And playing!  And laughing!"  I was so very very proud of him...and myself.  He gets it!  I get it...and despite my less than stellar parenting moments, I am raising a child who will know God.  I am doing it right.

What Good Did God Give Me Today?  - The gift of being that beautiful boys mother.

What Good Did God Give YOU Today?