Tuesday, March 31, 2015

SOL #31 Officially A Blogger!

Okay, I can say it is official!  I made it one whole month!  Thank you, Tenille, for challenging us to do this!  It is has been fun, eye opening, frustrating, and simply wonderful!  I am a better writer after this experience because I have had to struggle and get out of my way.

To celebrate this adventure, I ordered a t-shirt!!!  Yes, Ma'am!  I sure did!  I can't wait to wear it with a huge smile because I faced this enormous giant, locked elbows with my dear friends, and waded through the writing process!  What a huge accomplishment!

So, what's next?

Do we keep blogging?

Do we take time to make this part of our world every day, week, month, year?

Where will tomorrow lead?   

Monday, March 30, 2015

SOL#30 Single Girl Life...

I didn't get married until I was 29.  To someone who was in 18 weddings before my own wedding day,  walking down the isle seemed like a far off, unattainable goal.  I dreamed of the day that I would have someone to welcome me home.  So, during my season of single-hood, I didn't fully appreciate the time.  I was constantly hoping and wishing.

This week my hubby is working the late shift at work.  He goes in during the afternoon, and he will be home after I have gone to bed.  So tonight, I am embracing the single life.  I have pizza sizzling in the oven, which is the perfect meal according to my family.  The washer and dryer are running in full force.  My "Friends" have joined me to continue through the seasons.  It is a perfect night.

You know what makes it even better? 

My man will be home in about 6 hours! 

 I appreciate the time to do my "single girl behaviors", but I am very thankful for this season with my husband!!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

SOL #29 Having Faith

Today will be day two of getting some projects done outside and spending time in the sun.  It hit me as I sat down to write my blog that today and the next few days are days of waiting.

Yesterday, my precious husband was working in the yard and decided to get rid of weeds.  He worked hard, and when I got home, he asked if I had seen it.  I hadn't, so on our way to dinner, he drove around to the front of our home.

To my horror, he not only took out the weeds, but my budding plants in the flower bed were gone, too.  The fern has been mowed down to the ground!  I was heartbroken and tired, so tears began to fall.  He felt horrible, but I couldn't stop.  There were my transplanted memories reduced to dirt.

This morning, on the other side of the whole ordeal, I can see now that I am called to a season of waiting.  I must wait to see if the bulbs I am putting in the ground today will grow.  I must wait to discover if my fern will lift its fronds again.  I also must being making a plan as to what I am going to do with all of the time I have to wait, and the barren yard that I am now presented with.  Will they regrow?  Will my bulbs burst forth with beautiful colors?  Will leaves appear on my pruned Crape Myrtles?  It is a season of waiting.....

For fourth grade Texas teachers, tomorrow and Tuesday are writing tests.  We have poured into our little nine and ten year old writers.  We have conferenced, encouraged, and cheered...sometimes cried.  However, Monday and Tuesday, they will sit for four hours and pour out their best.  Did we do enough?  Did they listen?  Will they remember?

Testing season is torture to teachers because our hands are bound, and we are called to wait.  So, to all Texas teachers, I stand with you in the waiting game!  Like my precious flowers outside, I am praying that each fourth grader in our great state will burst fourth with abundant, magnificent words to fill their pages.  I pray that their minds are clear and able to remember all that they have been taught.  I pray that they walk away from this testing season feeling refreshed, marvelous, and proud of themselves as writers, questioners, and learners.  

Here's to the wait!  I believe the end result will be more exquisite than we asked for and as vibrant as the sun!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

SOL #28 The Smell of Dirt

I found this note card in some of my stuff not too long ago, and it spoke to my heart.

I do not remember why I wrote it the first time, but I completely believe that I was suppose to find it for this spring!  I always spend at least one weekend working on my yard every spring.

This year, it is my goal to make it a place that I enjoy hanging out and spending time.  I am a nature girl!  I love everything about being outside.

Some of my fondest memories from childhood happened in my grandparents' back yard.  Living only two blocks away, we spent a lot of time at Meme and Grandaddy's.

They would come home after work, change into their yard clothes, and get to work.  My grandfather would water everything, mow (if it was time), prune, pick up...just about anything to stay outside.  My grandmother would sweep, make glasses of tea, pull some weeds, and rock in her chair.  It was a great time!  We loved their back yard!

Through the years of home ownership, I have added many of the same plants that they had in my own yard.  I have new varieties that I love, but I keep the traditional ones, too!  Yes, I am so very sentimental!  What a joy it is to have pieces of youth growing in my flower bed.  I even transplanted some of my grandfather's fern to my yard!  Precious to me!!

So, this spring, if you are looking for me, I plan to be outside getting my hands dirty!

Friday, March 27, 2015

SOL#27 Favorite colors...

I struggle every time someone asks me about my favorite color!  I truly love all the different colors!  Yes, I love maroon, but I also enjoy pink, blue, purple, black, green, white, turquoise, lavender, lime, fuchsia, lemon, grey....

Yes, even orange!

Some of my kids are probably, celebrating or rolling their eyes because I give them a horrible time about the burnt orange color that frequents my classroom.  However, right now, as I look through my classroom, I do know see any burnt orange!  Success!!

There is bright orange, but I actually like bright orange!  I have really been "into" the neons again!  i remember wearing them in Jr. High!  Ahhhhhhh, the 80s!!!

I do feel like colors reflect my moods.  I am sure that sometimes, they even support or encourage a feeling.  However, colors bring back precious memories!  I can see purple pansies and instantly, I miss my mom!  She loved purple and pansies!  So, she always planted these!

My grandmother loves pink and has always planted geraniums.  So, pink geraniums make her feel close to me!  I always plant these, too!

I am amazed at the variety of colors in our beautiful world!  I found these great pictures to show some emotions that are associated with colors and the names of colors in a crayon box!


So fun!

What's YOUR color??

Thursday, March 26, 2015

SOL #26 Scheduling

My current nightmare is scheduling!

Sitting here trying to write out our schedule for the next two weeks, and my mind is spinning!  Y'all!  I am worn out just trying to explain it all to my student teacher! It isn't that she doesn't understand.......it is just CRAZY!!!  We have small groups on top of small groups, we have activities and practice that needs to be done.  There are fun pieces of history to grasp and equations to figure out, books to be devoured and analyzing to complete.    On paper, our schedule looks ominous.

Oh my goodness, I am praying that these stormy scheduled days help our roots to grow strong and our understanding to take flight!  We are trying to take advantage of every moment that we have been given!

Slicing my life on paper  into increments of time is eye opening!  Our little self-contained world is constantly flowing and changing like the waves splashing on the shore.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

SOL #25 Letting Go...

As a teacher, one of the hardest things to do is to let go of EVERYTHING....

I do not worry of letting go of my kids' learning.  I trust them to be thinkers and doers.  However, I do have a very hard time letting someone else lead them.  I have a precious student teacher right now.  This is a very tough season to be a student teacher.  I feel like it is a great time because they learn so much, but for me, I have a hard time letting go!

Oh, but I love having them in my room!  The bring in life and excitement!  I have had the honor to mentor several student teachers!  It is a huge blessing.


Tomorrow we are going to sit down, and I am going to let the next two weeks...gooooooooo....

I think I can...

I think I can...

I think I can...

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

SOL #24 Expectations

Yes, I am really bad at expectations.  

Let me explain...I will do everything I can to follow through!  I will try to move mountains to meet any promises that I have made to friends, family, and co-workers.  I mean I will turn my world upside down...drive hours.....sit until it's done...I like for things to be done right, and I feel empowered when I am asked to help someone else in some way.  Therefore I strive to meet expectations.

However, when I have made plans and they don't work out.  I feel lost and so rejected.  It is different if there is a real reason, but sometimes others don't have the standards that I have.  Let me tell you what a hard lesson that has been in my life, career, relationships, and marriage.

That is where forgiveness and grace are being refined within me.  

Yes, I just took a moment, reread what I just wrote, took a breath, and listened to hear those exact words!  I get it!  I want to be forgiving and graceful.  So, I will continue to work on my expectations.  

Sometimes, life lessons and refinement are so very difficult!

Monday, March 23, 2015

SOL #23 Monday

A new week is beginning.   One week.  Monday.  Today is filled with last minute details to ready my nine and ten year olds for two days of writing next week.  So many possibilities....

I ready for this day!  I had a great Spring Break full of family, wonderful books, road trips, and laughter!  I am ready for this week!

I pray that each one walks in with a smile and a memory of a great week!  I can't wait to hear them all!

Let's do this!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

SOL #22 Saying Good-bye


"Bye Mandyn! Please come back to my house!  I don't want you to leave!  I love you!"

My heart is mush!

The car cranks....

                       the house disappears from my rear-view....
                                                                               I miss them already!

It truly doesn't matter if I am leaving my own house or any of my family members' homes.  I always feel this sense of sadness and missing out when I pull away!

Until next time.....

Saturday, March 21, 2015

SOL #21 Delighted You Could Join Us

"Mandyn, would you like to have a tea party?"

That marked the beginning of one my my most favorite moments with my niece, Ellyce Margaret.

I, of course, answered, "well, sure!"

When at the kitchen table she arrived for our tea party, she dawned her Cinderella Wedding Dress,  crown, and veil.  I realized immediately, that this was going to be a night to remember.  This girl melts my heart, but when she started answering me and talking to me in her best British accent, I was hooked.

First she poured us some tea!  Then, for a toast she exclaimed, "To the kids!"  I almost choked on my perfectly brewed cup of tea!!  Soon, after our tea party began, my sister pulled out her phone because she couldn't quit laughing at us.   She captured so much of it!  The video is long, but I will put it at the bottom just so you can get an idea of how hilarious this little girl is at our tea party!  We had carrots, cookies, a ton of tea,  i

 One of the best parts was when she was getting frustrated at me from laughing, and said, "Dear Princess, please stop laughing."  Her daddy stopped by our tea party not long after that, and she told him, "We are all so delighted that you could come."


Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a delight to my heart!  Sometimes while writing for thirty-one days, I have wondered what to write down. Today, it was easy!

 I do not want to forget this tea party!

Friday, March 20, 2015

SOL # 20 Any Direction You Choose

Oh, I love senior shoots!  This weekend, I get to hang out with two precious families that are about to let go of their oldest babies.

Today, I had the chance to spend today with a beautiful young lady who is about to encounter the world of higher education.  She is excited for the time she has ahead of her in the last few months of high school, but she is already plotting her future degree and career.

I distinctly remember that period of time and look back on it with fondness.  I, too, was a dreamer of huge things!  Such a precious time of joy, and I am honored to capture it for them!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

SOL #19. Roadtrippin'!

Today, I went on a roadtrip.  I love getting in the car with Jason and going on an adventure.  However, I also get great joy from climbing behind the wheel, turning on the latest, downloaded book, and letting the road take me on a journey.  

Today, I spent my time in Mississippi in 1964. I fell in love with a spunky twelve year old named Sunny.  For five hours, I was lost in her story of watching the world change around her.  Tears fell as  I drove. It was a beautiful journey.  

Listening to this book on audible was such a rich experience because Deborah Wiles includes historical documents that were acted out on the audible version!  It was an awesome road trip!

Today, my adventure brought me here!

I can't wait to see how the story unfolds!!