Thursday, March 31, 2016

The End? #SOL16

And just like that the month is over!


My life has changed so very much during this month, and I have gotten to share, cry, laugh and wonder right here in this little space on the internets.  LOL!

I guess that has been my word this month....change.

You know, I never finished the process of finding my word for 2016.  However, I would say that over the last few months, the word change has been the constant.  It is not a word that comforts or necessarily excites me.  Therefore, I have really resisted that word!

Some of the changes happening right now evoke anger and sadness.  Other changes need to happen in order for growth to occur.  God's plan has brought forth most of the changes, and my lack of discipline and pure laziness has started the others.

So, in reflecting on this month of writing.  I have had to change some habits to make time to write.  Which has prompted me to add writing to my habit tracker because I love this process.

So, here is to having changes happen that are healthy and fun.  However, if more sad ones come, I pray God gives me the grace to accept them, learn, and keep walking.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Schedules #SOL16

I remember when I was in college and a dear friend of mine got married.  I called her one night to ask something, and it was bed time.  It was early!  Like 8:30 early!  She was very short with me, and reminded me that I needed to call earlier.  I was appalled and wondered what had happened to her!

She married a fabulous guy who had an early morning, and her schedule changed to accommodate her new husband.  I was completely flabbergasted.  I didn't realize that my schedule had changed, too.  I was on the college classes, late nights at the architecture building, football games, and roommates schedule.

We were on different schedules.

Fast forward twenty years and a new schedule is part of my routine.  Now, I am married to a great guy who has to be up early.  We go to bed super early, and it works for our early mornings.  Some think it is crazy and don't understand why.  It's just the way that works for us.

There are nights when I long for the "old days" and try to stay up, but I end up sick to my stomach and worn out.  I am just not built for that schedule any more.

I guess just like everything else....schedules change.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Testing Tired #SOL16

This teacher doesn't think
I am more tired on any other day than
Really long, and boring testing days!
Every muscle is tense and my body 
Desires to lay down and find rest!!!


Monday, March 28, 2016

The Cost of Teahing #SOL16

Being a teacher is expensive!
I forget every year. EVERY YEAR!

Usually, I buy stuff at the beginning of the year to get my room started.

Then, there are the students who don't have school supplies.

Next comes the endless need of paper, pencils, and erasers just to complete our daily work.

I have a printer in my room that isn't supported, so I have to get ink.

I am always wanting to keep up with new information and the latest publications, so books have to be bought.

Now, we enter the testing season...just ran by the local supermarket to pick up pencils, erasers, gum, snacks, etc...

It never seems to end!

However, it isn't the money that makes this career expensive.
It is the amount of time, preparation, worry, and care that goes into every student that has entered my classroom over the last 18 years.

I pray that when they leave me they realize that to me (their 4th grade teacher), they are priceless!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

At a loss for words #SOL16

So I am sitting here with student's writing.  I wanted to write a letter to each of them and tell them how amazing they are at their writing . . . because they are!  They have come so very far!!  I am proud of each one of them!  I also wanted to give them suggestions about how to make their writing better.  So, I sat down to read.

There are sentences like:

I mean they did not come to me saying that their imagination would fly or that time would pass when they are reading.  

They have become writers!  They can author their feelings and share what they think.  I couldn't be prouder.

However, I am sitting here stuck as to what words I can say that they will read and be inspired.  Do I need to write each one of them?  Do they need to hear my words?  Or do we need to have a huge celebration tomorrow at how far they have come?

I am at a loss for words!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

My front porch #SOL16

This morning I sat on my front porch!  I love my front porch!   It is peaceful and the birds were in the trees filling the moment with fun chirps.  The sun was warming my skin, and I took the time to enjoy every moment of it.

I really should have grabbed the broom and cleaned it off, but I just enjoyed and soaked it in to my soul.  I would love to say that I had purchased brilliant blooms to fill the beds full of color, but the pots and beds are waiting until I have the funds.  

However, three years ago, I added two purple rose bushes.   Purple was my mother's most favorite color, and roses delight my nose and are easy to care for.  I knew the plants had leaves on them, but I didn't know there were any blooms.  When I sat down, I looked to the right and this beautiful blossom was a surprise that brought tears to my eyes.

It was if it was placed there for me this morning.  It was blessing that I didn't know I even needed.

As we wait for Easter to come,
  • I am reminded of God's faithfulness to give me a Mother, Grandmother, and Grandfather who loved His earth and the beautiful plants that give it color.  
  • I am reminded that He has me in mind and delights in me.  
  • I am reminded how precious life is
  • I am reminded that I need time to stop and enjoy life
  • I am reminded how precious people who I love are
  • I am reminded that there is beauty being created in the wait
  • I am reminded how much I am loved and it was a sign of

Friday, March 25, 2016

Rest #SOL16

I will be the first to admit that I really wanted some snow and ice this year.  I wanted to have multiple days off like we have the last few years.  However, we made it to March 25th without any inclement weather that would shut our schools down!  So, we find ourselves with a Weather Day off.  I can not tell you how many times I had to try to explain this calendar event to my 4th graders.  They just didn't get why we were out of school today.  They weren't complaining, mind you, but they were confused.

So, since I have a work day off, I decided I needed to run to my hometown (about an hour and half away) to go to the bank and run some errands.  A quick trip full of sunshine, loud music, traffic, and hometown.  Sounds great!  However, since today is also a very precious day in the Christian calendar, the bank that I needed to go to is closed.  Thankfully, I checked that before the sun and wind were in my hair.  I have to admit that I love that they are closed for Good Friday.  It totally reminds me of home and how things use to shut down on Sunday and holidays.  It made families stay home.  It MADE us rest.

So, what do I do with a day off?  A day were errands can't be run and things have come to an abrupt halt.  I opened the windows to let the warm, golden sunlight flood my house, and I sat down to reflect.  The last few weeks of my life have been anything but restful.  I feel like God is telling me I need to stop.  I need to pour myself out to him, and just be!  I need to stay home and reflect, pray a lot, probably cry, and focus on my new normal.  I need to read and catch up on grad school stuff.  I need to journal through my thoughts.

I need to rest and trust!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Competition #SOL16

Okay, I have never really cared much for basketball.  I am a football and baseball kind of girl.  As a student, I enjoyed going to the Hollar House on the Brazos, but I don't usually follow the game.   However, put a little/major competition in front of me, and I am hooked.

My Ags are playing the OU Sooners.  I am in front of my TV at tip off!  I am here yelling like I know each one of them personally!  I can't help it!  Put some guys dressed in maroon in front of me who are competing at any level, and this girl starts yelling!  It is part of my DNA, now.

So, here we go!  

Gosh I am so proud to be part of this school!  I hope they BTHO OU!!!!

Texas A&M and competition ignites a fire in me!  I may even start cheering for Von!  I mean...competition is competition!


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Doodling the Day Away! #SOL16

I did not get to actually doodle the day  AWAY, but I would have been in bliss if I had gotten to do that!  I am totally in my happy place when I am doodling.  I have started a bullet journal.  I LOVE my journal.  It has become a place to reflect, plan, and DOODLE!  I will share my journal soon, but for's all about the doodles.

I am one of those learners who is so much better when I have a picture to accompany my thoughts.  It doesn't even have to be connected...though that is helpful.  I wouldn't necessarily say I am a visual learner.  I am more of a DOODLER!  Therefore, I completely get the kiddos in my class who are also doodlers.  I understand their need to add a face to the side of the notes or put a kite by their name!  I get it!

There are several Instagram doodle challenges.  I have been doing #ptldoodles which has given me things to draw that I never have tried.  So very fun!  Every day is a box in my journal.  

Every day is doodle worthy!

Every day  I would love to doodle the day away!  (a girl can dream!)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

My Perspective #SOL16

One thing I absolutely love about my job is days where I get to work with amazing educators to create our district's units of study.  I love it.  They challenge me to be a stronger educator.  In my heart, they are amazing!

The room is packed with tables of each content area.  I am sitting at the science table.  I love this team of people.  It was very hard for me to choose one content area. However, at the time we had to choose, science was the best fit, and I do love science.  Now I sit here and eaves drop on other areas.  How I long to be a part of each table's conversation. I am just sure each conversation would be worthy to join in....perspective.

I have to admit.  Listening to the PE teachers talk about their unit on skipping makes me quite jealous.  Okay, actually, I got tickled.  Here I am trying to soak in all of the core content areas as I listen to language arts, math and social studies and work on the science units.  There the PE teachers go demonstrating the difference between the score of a 1, 2, and a 3 in a softball pitch.  A completely different perspective.

Each table represents different schools, grade levels, and experience. From where I sit, each table is full of valuable opinions, and creative ideas.

It's all perspective!

Monday, March 21, 2016

A Little Depressing! #SOL16

Last week, my blog has been a pure example of this quote.  I feel like every day I have stopped and taken time to just let my heart and soul pour out on these posts.  It has been healthy, necessary, and honestly a little depressing!

Don't get me wrong.  I know I need to deal with my feelings.  I realize pouring my thoughts and emotions out is healthy and helpful, but come on!!  LOL!  Let's liven it up a little bit!  I am not here to drag anyone down.  

So, in a kind of end of the month kind of celebration, thingy.... I am going to focus on things that delight and bring joy to my life!

Starting tomorrow!  

(yes, I just crack myself up!!)

But for today...talking about my spring break today at our first day back in the school trenches was depressing and draining.  

So, tonight, I am turning in early!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

My New Normal #SOL16

The Easter Season is one of my most favorite times of the year.  It holds a beautiful saving story and memories of the Hallelujah chorus, First United Methodist Church, Easter baskets, new dresses, shoes and handbags that match, lilies, home cooked meals, home, and family.  This year is going to be vastly different.

Today at the grocery store, I had a moment where I wondered what I was going to make for Meme for Easter lunch.  I thought about going ahead and picking up a few key ingredients that have graced the family table as long as I can remember.  The last few years, I have tried to make sure that she had holidays that were as similar as we had growing up.  Suddenly, it hit me square between the eyes....  she's celebrating this season in heaven with Mom, Angie, and Grandaddy.

You see, I don't wish for them to come back from Heaven.  That is totally selfish, and I can't wait to join them.  However, I'm not good at change.  I like traditions.  I love being surrounded by my family.  Gosh, I miss them so much!  Holidays will be forever be different ,and my heart and mind are having a hard time adjusting to my new normal.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Rest #SOL16

For now, our job is done, and we are back at my house.  Tomorrow, I have to send my sister back to her life and family.    Monday I have to go back to work like my home wasn't just ripped apart and sold off into pieces.

Sometimes adulting isn't nearly as much fun as I thought it would be. 

Think I'll leave you tonight with some pictures from our day!!!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Breath of Fresh Air #SOL16

Wow!  What a busy day!  The house is finally getting quiet for the night.  Blow up mattresses are occupied, fan is buzzing, and conversations are ceasing.  A beautiful hum has filled the house!

Deep breath in and deep breath out!

Last night, RW and the boys arrived from Lubbock to help for the evening and day.  Amy and Ellyce were delighted to see their guys.  The boys helped lug trash bags, and Dub took donations to Good Will.  It was a huge blessing to have more hands helping to clean, move, and organize.  Plus, it is always a bonus to have more necks to hug!

Deep breath in and deep breath out!

Our alarm went off at 4 after getting to bed about one.  Then, my sister and I sped through the house to ready it for the people by tying up any loose ends that we had left.  At 8 o'clock, we opened the door to our first customers.  It has been non-stop since then!!

Deep breath in and deep breath out!

About 9 o'clock the first breeze of fresh air blew into my grandparents' home.  My brother and his son got here!  Amy and I have been blessed with the most amazing guy as a brother!  He is wise and funny.  His arrival brought the missing link to our sibling puzzle.  We needed him to complete us.  We have spent the entire day together.  It is always so much fun for me to watch "the kids" as Mom used to call Amy and Jason.  They compliment each other.  They make each other crack up.  Together, the three of us are a pretty wonderful team.

Deep breath in and deep breath out!

Not long after Jason and Keegan arrived, the next breeze hit the house.  Our Dad came to help us in any way that he could.  My dad has always felt like a calm in the storm.  Therefore, having his help and support this week has been a huge blessing to my sister and I.  He jumped in, grabbed lunch, helped move stuff, looked over the work we had done, reminded all of us how proud of us he is and gave to us unconditionally.  I am so thankful for him!

Deep breath in and deep breath out!

Throughout the day, we have had rain storms rumble through town.  The cleansing water has poured and misted the dust and cobwebs out of the air.  The doors have been open all day, and God's power in the heavens has cleansed and reminded us of his mighty presence.  The storms have startled our little ones, but they have been a huge blessing refreshment.  Even now, I can smell the clean spring air.

Deep breath in and deep breath out!

Finally, the estate sell has encouraged a lot of people to come to my grandparents' home and "shop".  The stories about this amazing couple and the legacy of their hard work at Famous Shoe Store has been like celebrating their life all day long.  We have heard stories, laughed, teared up, and enjoyed every single person who has come to get some treasures.  What a breath of fresh air!

Deep breath in and deep breath out!

Tonight, Layten and Kristen got here for tomorrow's round two.  We have rearranged and gotten things ready, again!  Layten and Ellyce have made each other double over in laughter while they had "girl time".  Kristen has admired our hard work and jumped right in to help in any way.  These two brought their sassy, fun energy which gave the house a gust of crisp air.

Deep breath in and deep breath out!

And finally, as I get ready to turn off this computer and get some sleep.  I can rest knowing that after being away from my handsome husband for an entire week, he will be here tomorrow.  He is my calm in the storm.  I am so thankful for his support and love, and can't wait to see him.

Deep breath in and deep breath out!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Rockin Tomorrow #SOL16

Today, we have rocked around this house trying to make sure we have grabbed things that we love and things that we cherish. Even the roof and the door rocked a little as the skies opened up and pored down on us.  

Closets that have held the same outfits and accessories got rocked and now sit barren.  Embroidery, familiar outfits and smells that made Meme and Grandaddy seem right next to us rocked our emotions.

We are rocked.

Tomorrow will be a tough day.  Tomorrow will be here before we know it.  Tomorrow we have to get up early and get stuff done.  Tomorrow we will sale our grandparents' things.  Tomorrow.  Tomorrow.

We are not completely ready, but like our little, imperfect family, we will rock it tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

My Sister #SOL16

My Sister, Ellyce and I have been hanging out all week in Paris.  It has been an emotional, physical, exhausting week.  However, these two girls delight my heart!  I could NOT have done the week without them.

Though I am thankful for both of them, my focus for today's blog is the gorgeous lady I get to call Sister!  Amy and I are five years apart in age.  She is beautiful and graceful and an answer to prayers.  I am so very thankful that Mom and Dad were blessed with another daughter.  Since she was younger, and she thinks that I didn't want her around through our childhood and teen years.  However, I haven't ever felt that way.  It makes me sad that I made her feel that way.  I have always loved her and wanted her approval.

I would say in the last year, I have felt a slight distance growing between Amy and I.  She is a super busy mom of three who has two bursting careers.  I have my own life and careers. It has been a tough transition because I treasure her more than I can simply type in one blog.  I was fearful that we might loose our connection.

You see, I need her.  She is strength when I am feeling so weak.  When she is fragile, I want to protect her and love her.  She is truly the best friend I have ever had.  I want her to be pleased and proud of me.  She is the right words that I need to hear, and she laughter that rings through the years of my life.  She is beauty.

However, so far this week, we have been back to laughing and enjoying and talking.  She has let me be sentimental without judgement, and I have tried to be a safe place for her to fall if she needs one.  It has been a tough week, but I am SO thankful for the time to just be....

Amy and Mandy....


Oh how I needed this time with her!  I am so thankful!
(I will add a picture tomorrow! )

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Handwriting #SOL16

Today was full of moving furniture, starting the tedious job of sorting clothes and cleaning out closets.  However, in the shuffle of sorting and moving, we found drawers full of greeting cards.  So, today, I took time to go through cards that dated back to the 1940s.  I read each sentiment and took pictures of names and handwriting that have blessed my life.

I found cards from mom to dad and dad to mom.  I found cards where letter formations were just beginning and ones where handwriting had gotten shakier with age!  It was our entire family history in Christmas, Valentine's Day, Father's Day, Mother's Day and general love cards.

There were simple ones and ornate ones.  There were ones from my grandfather to my grandmother filled with his love and devotion.  There were homemade ones and store bought ones.   There were ones sent from far away places and ones that were handed across our dinner table.  Each of them were once held and given to someone that I love so much.

Today, time stopped and I journeyed through our family history through the handwriting of those that have filled my life with love and joy!

Monday, March 14, 2016

My Walk Down Memory Lane #SOL16

The second full day of cleaning out Meme and Grandaddy's house had us going through dresser drawers that had more pairs of panty hose than any woman should own!  I mean really!  Some were exquisite and some were just comical!  The difference between the my grandmother and mother in 1950s/1960s and myself today is definitely that I DO not own as many pairs of panty hose or slips!  Growing up, I can remember getting ready for church and getting fussed at if I didn't have on one of those two necessities.  What can I say...I am a rebel!

Ellyce had a great time making new dresses out of the dyed shoes and slips!

We found many of Mom's treasures.  Her beautiful Barbie doll that I wanted to play with so badly, but it was in original hands off... was still in the closet where I had remembered her.  I pulled her out, dusted her off and took a few photos.  

Then, I went to drawers that held, yes, you guessed it...more panty hose and slips!!!  I also got to see Mom's senior trip through her eyes!  They went to New York.  She talked about that trip with great fondness, and I felt like she was watching over me and describing each souvenir she had saved.  These little pictures that they use to print are one of my favorites.  I loved seeing New York in these! 

Throw in several cards and postcards to lots of baby shoes to more panty hose to several scarves and you get the idea of what my day was like!  

Memory lane was a beautiful sight today full of love and laughter!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Spring Break Morning #SOL16

Day two of Spring Break:
This morning, I am up finishing some grad school projects while sister and Ellyce are still sleeping.  

As I sit at our family breakfast table, I glanced up and saw this site. It took my breath away for a minute. If I listen very closely, I can hear my grandfather whistling his quiet tune while the coffee maker perks.  In the adjoining living room, the rocking of my grandmother's recliner could join in the morning tune.  The two of them were the perfect complement to each other and the life in this home. 

This home has been part of our family since 1971.  This view has always looked like this!  Gosh I am going to miss the familiarity of this view!

I glance up again....

I honestly never realized how much my grandmother liked bold patterns.  It was just the way this house has always been.  However, as I stroll through it, I am soaking up all of the memories and goodness. 
 I realize she loved a good pattern!  
It makes me chuckle.  
I can almost hear her fussing over each detail.  You see, my grandfather had this house built to her satisfaction. He allowed her to pick out the finest details and furnishings.  

Over the years, our family has worn out some of her treasures, but her touch and choices still remain.

This home and the man and woman who built it are precious to me.