Thursday, May 30, 2013

Long life

So last month's National Geographic had a baby on the cover who was about the same age as my baby boy. The cover line was "Will this baby live to be 120? Science says probably."

120? That is a stinking long time. The article show that genetic sociologists have identified communities with people who are quite old and quite healthy. Through that identification they have found specific genes that prevent diabetes and heart disease. The implication is they will be able to "fix" other people's genes to prevent these types of diseases and therefore they will live longer.

All that aside, it got me thinking about do I want to live to be 120? Do I wish that for my children?

I look at my mother who is not yet even 60 and she has had 2 knee replacements and has a myriad of physical and health issues that make living quite painful for her. The things she has wrong are totally non life threatening, but life is not so awesome with them. I don't think she wants to live another 60 years with those things. I don't want her to suffer with diabetes or heart disease, but my question is not here. It lies with the other factors that make life stink. Now if this research finds ways to get rid of dementia or alzheimer's, then I will quite satisfied.

With the exception of a few, most people can not work past 65 or 70, especially if they worked in physically demanding fields. Mentally, your brain starts to diminish its capacity around the same age. It is a natural part of aging. So do we want to live in a world where we still exist 50-60 years after our bodies and minds stop functioning at top capacity and begin to diminish?

This world is hard, heaven is a promise. Is it a good thing to put off seeing the glory of God for sooooo long?  My mother has told me on many occasions she is praying for the end of this world and the second coming of Christ. I used to not like that idea. I wasn't ready. I wanted to get married have kids, see the world. But now that I know a little more about the bible and about the hardships of life, if I could spare my children the difficulties of life and give them Heaven instead- yes. Absolutely.

Feeling philosophical lately. Maybe it is my quiet moments...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Quiet time

I find myself seeking out quiet moments.

I haven't ever NEEDED quiet times.

I don't know if it is the chaos of 2 boys under 3.
I don't know if it is the obscenely stressful teaching year I have had.
I don't know if is the uber connected-ness of social media.

I walked the dogs out yesterday and sat down near the end of the driveway. The hubby poked his head out the front of the door, laughed, and asked what in the world I was doing.

I didn't have a good answer. I mean, I know what I was doing, but I didn't want to tell him. I didn't want to admit that I wanted to be away.

Just figured that out...

I feel bad that I want some time, but I shouldn't.

but I do.

So I'll tell you what I'll do. I will continue to take my moments, but now that summer is here, I will get an extended version during nap time. I'll get some moments while they play in the pool.

I'll go for walks in the evening (with bug spray of course.)

Until Baby Boy decides to sleep past 5:30 am, I won't be getting up before him for that time.. nope.
Sleep is higher up on the Mommy-has-needs chain than "quiet moments."

Some things don't change I suppose.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

update on Grace

Well I failed miserably... two words. Field Day...

I lost my "grace mantra" when a student just wasn't listening and nailed another student with a mini lacross stick at a water game.

it was the 3rd station.

and then it was downhill from there.

Let me go back- I LOVE field day... usually.

This year I was not looking forward to it and it lived up to all my expectations. All of them...


I did manage to keep my grace mantra with my moody diabetic student. He was angry because he couldn't play the water games, he was angry because there wasn't a nurse at break time to get the carb count for the Gatorade. I talked him into playing the other games, talked him out of anger at other students for absolutely nothing, and I didn't scream yell and drag him out of the lunch room when he called another student's mother a Bitch.

I got an administrator to do that.

I did show grace when mom was treating us to McDonalds yesterday.

There was a car stopped before the drive through and people were slowly getting out.. Like SLOWLY.

In the mean time a woman started backing out of her parking place and was going to hit my car. I tapped the horn to let her know I was there, so she would stop. One of the guys getting out of the car gave me a dirty look, so I pointed to the lady backing into me. I don't think he understood.

When the older guy who was moving slow got out- he gave me the finger... with both hands.

Here is where my grace came in- so proud of myself...

I rolled down my window...

thought about my grace and my kids in the back seat

and told him that I was sorry, but I wasn't honking at him, but rather the old woman who nearly backed into me.

He apologized and asked for forgiveness. I said thank you and pulled into the drive through.

Where I lost my grace with the woman who had no idea how to work a double lane drive through and caused 3 cars to get ahead of us while the boy screamed for fries.

So 1 out of 3... better than none right?

Thursday, May 16, 2013


It is easier to bestow grace on others, when those others show grace to you.
That is a true story.

So an addendum to my last post, the person I was disappointed in has been quite kind to me lately. I started to think that maybe I was too hasty in my blog rant. But as I stepped back and took a look around, I realized she has just redirected her attention to the teacher who just was honored as teacher of the year.  Lots and lots of little snide comments. Everything she says or does is "ok teacher of the year." "thats because you are teacher of the year..." We all can feel her heat, we just ignore it.

So I realized at that moment, it is easy for me to start to show grace to this teacher when I thought she was getting better.

And I also realized that I was not being true to my character that I believe I have.

Yes, maybe I should remove myself a bit from that person, but I should make sure that she knows that she is loved and appreciated. I shouldn't be angry with her (even for my friend's sake.)

I just received some news at work that is going to dramatically challenge me as an educator. Nothing bad, just really challenge me. I am still processing it, and I don't have much liberty to discuss it right now. But I promise it will be a topic worth exploring.

Back to being a better me.

I need to remember at all times I am example to children and my peers. My personal children, my students, my friends, my professional community all see me. I want them to see me as the Christian I know I can be. So my new mantra until it becomes a part of my soul is Grace for everyone. Be the light.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


So I know how I just wrote this whole thing on how my personality type thinks the best of people and they tend to bristle if they think they are not going to reach my expectations and how that is not how it really is. I will just lift them up if they fall short in my eye- which isn't even the right way to say it. Most people don't fall short- I just see opportunities to help, not to look down on.

So that is not entirely true. If someone does something that is WAY below them. If someone I trust and expect the best out of does something truly low, I do become disappointed.

So my grade level has a leader who is our "go to" person. They have bi monthly meetings with administration, they lead our team meetings. They are supposed to be organized and set the tone for our group. Sounds like a general description of anyone in a mid level leadership position.

When I first met this person, I felt we had a lot in common. She stepped up when my car broke down and I needed a ride to work for a month.

Over the last 5 years, she has slowly slipped lower and lower in my rank of people I want to be in the same room as. Here is another thing you have to understand. I will stick with someone, even if it is not good. Boys always break up with me, I am not the one to break up. I will hold on the scraps of a friendship because I feel there is always something worthy in that friend, even if we have drifted. But, I think I need to distance myself as much as possible, or I may be the recipient of her wrath very soon.

Her personal life is kind of mess. Her hubby is a loving man, but he doesn't keep a job. Consequently, they are behind on their bills. She has 2 older boys but then had 2 miscarriages before having her youngest boy who is the same age as my baby boy.  She has a rocky relationship with her mom and sisters. So she takes this stress out on us.

It started with me when I was in a different grade level and announced I was pregnant. This was after her first miscarriage (which was later in her pregnancy.) I was then told that she had a second miscarriage and to stay away from her. She was angry with me. This I TOTALLY get. for real. She must have been in a lot of pain and seeing me made it fresh again. I completely avoided her, didn't wave in the hall. I didn't make a big deal of myself, down played when others did, and she was around. I didn't want to be the cause of her pain.
 Shortly after she found out she was pregnant with her youngest, I found out I was too. I thought it was something we could share together. Apparently not. I quickly found out pregnancy made her grouchy and snappy. I wasn't always susie sunshine, but everyone was always wrong and in her way. I think she was resentful to me because she wasn't getting all the pregnancy attention.  She felt she deserved it more because of her 2 losses in the past 2 years. Now here I was again, getting the attention also. So I had to avoid her again. Only this time we were on the same grade level. Much more difficult. When she went out on maternity leave at the end of the year, we carried on. When she came back at the very end of the year, she was surprised that we didn't call her for anything. But the way she said it, she was pissed that we didn't call her for anything.

One of my personality things  said that I will confront people if I feel slighted. More than once I had to tell her that I felt she was unduly snappy with me. Her response wasn't "Sorry, blah blah blah" it was "Oh, you always think I am picking on you." ok...

Fast forward. More of the same. One of my best friends on our grade level received Teacher of the year. I can not tell you how much she deserved it. Beyond deserves it. THe grade leaver was pissed.. Visibly angry that her co worker that she has worked with for 5 years, and seen how hard she works, won and not her. The coworker left right after the announcement for a luncheon. Our grade leader canceled our meeting that afternoon and left right after school. She then started giving the, very deserving teacher of the year, the cold shoulder and was snappy at her. When my friend stated that she hoped that only 6 of her special ed babies was going to fail the standardized test (this was a good thing, 14 of them failed the year before.) Our leader responded with "Why so many?" When my friend explained that number is actually very low and a good thing, the leader responded under her breath thinking no one could hear "teacher of the year, huh?" I wanted to smack her in her face. I was so furious. and I don't usually have that impulse to hit...

Last week her son was the ONLY kid in a different teacher's class to fail the writing test. In fact that teacher had 6 exceed (more than anyone else in the grade level combined.) She waited until that teacher and I were at a history grant to rant and rail against that teacher claiming that the history grant was the reason her kid failed. We have been doing this grant for 3 years. She never claimed the History grant was a problem for our writing scores before. In fact the other teacher's students did all the grade level writings AND 3 additional papers. So her son got more writing instruction than the rest of the kids. Before they took the writing test, he had told her several times he was concerned with his writing because he doesn't write enough. She admitted she had not worked with him at all. Then when that teacher told her when they took the test, her son did not write enough. Her response was "Oh well, he made that decision. If he fails, he fails." Then he did. And now, it is the other teachers fault.

What bothers me the most is she ranted for over a half hour when she knew he was gone. I am sure no one stood up to her. If I had been there I would have said something. I would have shut that down and now it is too late. I am just furious. No one is safe. There is no trust. It is gone.

And here I am- Disappointed. Disappointed in her leadership, her choice to bash her co workers, her not owning her child's choices, her not helping her child when she was asked to, in her not living up to my expectations.