Words of Wisdom Wednesday – Laughs for the Teacher

Enjoy a good laugh today!

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This one is specifically for my Texas friends!

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Have you thanked a teacher today?

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week!  As we all know, Teacher Appreciation should be an ongoing, never-ending event!  I was a Kindergarten teacher, then a family literacy specialist, then a Reading Recovery teacher, then a literacy mentor, then a Dyslexia specialist, and now a homeschool mom…I have LOVED every one of those jobs!  I can remember working in my classroom ENDLESS hours those first few years, only to think “I get paid to do this!”  (Yes, I know I was a bit crazy!)   I was the first-year teacher that called the payroll department to tell them I thought that they “overpaid” me on my first check.  Yes, the person on the other end was laughing hysterically!  The job was HARD, but I loved getting to work with students and their families.  I was TIRED, but when you had a “breakthrough” moment with a student, your tired would go away. (For a short moment!)  This is how teachers feel!  (The good and great ones!)  THIS is why we should say thanks…because these amazing people do this job because they are passionate about what they do.  NO…they could never get paid what they are worth and they know that.  NO…new mandates from states and districts are not fun and these mandates make them reconsider their career paths.  NO…when parents criticize them for the hard work they do, it is not fun and they do cry.  BUT…when a teacher is a great one, these things get pushed aside, and they work harder than you could ever imagine to ensure the success of their students and families!

I was a teacher, but I was more impacted by the amazing teachers that poured their hearts and souls into my own kids and also into me as a young teacher!  I could never have a post like this without thanking ever teacher I ever had!  Thank you to every teacher who has ever worked with my sweet Grace!  AND, thank you to those who spent ENDLESS HOURS with my sweet Ben during those years that were most critical for him and for our family!  Our lives are forever changed because of what these people have done!

Thank a teacher today!  Send a sweet note of encouragement to one of them…I PROMISE it would matter to them, and they would remember it forever!

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Words of Wisdom Wednesday – Mark Twain

Grace is reading Tom Sawyer right now, so I thought it would be fun to look at quotes from Mark Twain.

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That’s One BIG Mountain!

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I titled this blog, “Climb Every Mountain,” because I want to be challenged.  I want to live my life for Christ in EVERY area.  I want to move ahead, even when things get tough.  No giving up!

When I think about mountains in my life, one of the biggest has to be the weight loss/exercise mountain!  I could go really deep here and tell you about all of the reasons this is a struggle for me, but I am going to keep it simple…I LIKE FOOD and I DON’T LIKE EXERCISE!  These two do not equal a “beach body.”  Haha!  Micah always says he eats to sustain life.  I eat to enjoy life.  Like, when my friend Kate shared Butter Rum Root Beer with me from Gelson’s, it was YUMMY and now I constantly think about how I want some of that and Butter Rum Lifesavers and all things Butter Rum.  (Obsessed, kind of like when all things Pumpkin Spice come around!)  Anyone else like that out there?!

Anyway, I decided over a year ago that I must start the climb up this mountain.  The fact that I am even typing this right now, is HUGE.  If I actually post this, I am going to have way more accountability than I want.  (Even though I need it!)  I don’t want ya’ll to know that I am going to try to eat more healthy and exercise.  Someone might actually ask me about this when I am mid-bite into a delicious brownie, and then I have to feel like a failure!  Or, shall I say this is how I have felt in the past.  I am now learning that this journey is never over, and life DOES include brownies, and that is okay.  For me at this point, it is just to remember that each day requires me to make good choices and continue moving toward my goal.  As long as I stay on the trail, it doesn’t matter how slowly I am moving, I am still moving.  Some wouldn’t agree with me on this, but it’s my journey and I’m enjoying the view!

So, it may take me FOREVER to get to where I want to be, but I’m willing to climb EVERY mountain…and THAT my friends, is progress!

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Theater, Theater, Oh how we love the Theater!

It has been several weeks  since Grace  performed in The Lion King, Jr. with our school.  Today I am finally sitting down to recap and start the blog up again.  Whew!!!!  People, musical theater is not for whimps!  Those kids work HARD!!!!!!  Those parents work HARD!!!!!!  Those directors work HARD!!!!!

We honestly had the BEST experience with musical theater this year!  Our director LOVES people and it is her goal in life to encourage the kids and build their self-esteem in any way she can!  (Not always the case with theater directors, in case you didn’t know!!!!!)  Grace flourished under this direction, and I watched her go out there and get better at each practice.  So proud of her!

Performances were absolutely amazing!  I have been to MANY children’s performances, and let me just say that our school goes WAY, WAY above and beyond!!!!!  It is inspiring to watch everything come together for opening night, and to be a part of the excitement.  This year, I was blessed to be able to “help” the director in many ways, so I got to know the families really well.  I cannot even tell you how amazing our school and our families are, and how fun it has been to get to know so many of them!  This is why it is so hard when performance week is over and everyone packs up their stuff and goes home.  It is a serious let-down!  These kids have been practicing for 6 hours per week since December, then “tech week” happens and they are together every day for 6 days straight!  As we head home after the final performance, it’s very sad!  So sad!  Then we all begin to talk about “the next show” and how ready we are to audition… because we are all sick in the head!

Seriously though, this was a great year!  Mom and Dad came out from Texas and made it that much sweeter.  We missed Micah’s mom, but will get to see her very soon and can’t wait!  Here are some pictures that were taken along the way of our cast of The Lion King, Jr!

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Sweet Sydney came and spent the day with us during dress rehearsal!

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Our director wore MANY hats! Here she is painting Scar.

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Cute giraffes!

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Hyenas…always in character!

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Entire cast!

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Our director and choreographer! Love these two ladies!

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That sun in the back moved up and down! It was made by one of our amazing dads!

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My lioness in action!

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Fierce lionesses!

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Ben’s friend was Simba!

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Grace and Mrs. Imel! We love her!

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Rafiki! Photo Credit: Kate Colello

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Lions vs. Hyenas Photo Credit: Denise Hughes

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I just can’t wait to be King!

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Lioness, Rafiki, and Zazu

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Timon and Pumba Photo Credit: Kate Colello

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Who doesn’t love Timon and Pumba?!

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I kept telling Scar to smile, until I realized that he couldn’t! Haha!

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So proud of this girl! She had so much fun!

 

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Scandal of Grace!

Today is Easter Sunday!  Today I will worship my God and Savior Jesus Christ for the ultimate sacrifice HE gave for me!  Today I will stand in awe of my God who loves me!  Today I will stop and think about my sins that are forgiven because God sent His Only Son to die a tortured death on the cross, so that I may live eternally with Him!  Today I will sing praises to Him because only God is to be worshipped! Today I will rejoice because HE IS ALIVE!

 

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We shall now use handkerchiefs…because Kleenex are dangerous and banned from this Kingdom!

Once upon a time, there was a small boy around the age of 4, who stuck a piece of Kleenex up his nose.  This boy’s parents were unaware of his plight, until a few days later when they began to sniff an unusual and rather unpleasant odor.  His mom and dad could not figure out where this smell was coming from and the young boy was unable to tell them exactly what had happened.  (Or maybe he was just too smart to share that Kleenex was stuck up his nose.)  The days continued on, and the unpleasant odor became, shall we say…unbearable!  The boy’s parents and his teachers had no idea what was going on, so the mom decided she should call the doctor.  However, before the doctor could be called, the family stopped to enjoy some amazing BBQ for dinner.  While at the table eating, the young boy sneezed a very loud and hearty sneeze.  (Yes, here it comes, so stop reading if you have a weak stomach.)  Upon sneezing, something landed on the table!  It was a WAD of Kleenex!!!!!!  The boys parents gagged and cheered and cheered and gagged, for the unpleasant odor was gone and was to return no more…

Until many years later, when the young boy used Kleenex to help rid his nose of the incessant dripping from seasonal allergies.  He decided that rolling up Kleenex and stuffing it in his nose would stop the dripping and the constant need to wipe his nose.  This worked well, until a piece of Kleenex broke off.  It was at this point that the young lad had a decision to make…come tell his mom (who has been known to freak out in situations such as this) or try to remove the Kleenex himself.  He decided upon the latter, and the Kleenex became lodged in his upper nostril.  It was at this point, that his mom heard him blowing his nose repeatedly.  She “gently and kindly” asked what was wrong.  The young boy stated that he had Kleenex stuck up his nose, to which is mother replied, “You do not!  You would never do that again!”  And so, the days went on…until the boy continued to blow his nose repeatedly each day…AND…the unusual and rather unpleasant odor came back to visit.  It was upon her first notice of the odor that the mom IMMEDIATELY took the young boy to see the village doctor.   (otherwise known as Dr. Berger at Urgent Care)  The doctor entered the room and began trying all that he knew; syringe, long tweezers, long tubes connected to syringes, and even asked the boy’s mom to hold his other nostril while blowing as hard as she could into his mouth with the hope that the object would fly out.  (I do not make this stuff up, people!)  To the doctor’s dismay, nothing worked.  The young boy and his parents would need to now go to the village ENT!  (Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist)  Two days went by, in which the young boy’s discomfort became great.  The family traveled down the mountain to the village of Oceanside, where the ENT castle was.  (Okay, the doctor’s office is LITERALLY the “castle on the hill.”)  The beautiful and enchanted Dr. Lu, ENT, entered the room, took out her magical wand (long, long, suction tube and tweezers) and gently and gracefully pulled the BIGGEST WAD of KLEENEX from the boy’s nose!!!!!!!  He could instantly breathe better, felt better, and promised to NEVER EVER stick Kleenex up his nose again!!!!!  There was then a royal decree shared throughout the land:

EUGENE

 

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What’s Happening, Where Have I Been, and What Am I Loving?

Life is crazy!  It can be crazy good or crazy bad, but let’s face it, it’s crazy!

Right now, we are nearing the opening date for Grace’s musical theater production and that definitely adds some craziness.  It’s definitely good, fun crazy though.  Last week, we drove up and down the mountain 5 of the 7 days.  That makes for some tired people.  I try to remember how thankful we are that we have an awesome school, awesome church, and have made friends and community down the mountain.  (It’s hard not to want to be a “mountain hermit” after weeks like that though!)

This week, we have not had to go down the mountain much, AND we had family come and visit!  So much fun to see my aunt, uncle and cousins and get to spend some time with them.  We went to the Safari Park on Tuesday, and the weather was amazing!  Carol, the safari guide for our tram ride, has worked for the park 33 years.  She was saying how awesome the weather was on that particular day.  She said that it is usually around 100+ degrees.  I’ve been there when I felt like it was that hot, and it’s not nearly so much fun.  My favorite part of the safari park is how close you can get to the animals, and that they are in more natural habitats.  We had fun!

Life will get crazy (good) again next week, so here’s hoping I actually sit down and write a bit during the craziness!

Things I’m loving this week:

  1.  Fixer Upper! – Oh, have I mentioned that I love that show before?  Ha!  I’m a ridiculous lover of all things Chip and Joanna Gaines create!
  2. The weather!!!! – It’s been PERFECT these last few days!  These are the days that I think I will never move away from SoCal.
  3. Camp – Outdoor Ed. has picked back up, and prep for all summer camps is ramping up too.  You can kind of feel the excitement building, and I love that.  May every camper who enters our gates, come to experience Christ in a way they never have before.
  4. Advocare Spark – Let me preface by saying, “I do not sell this product, I just LOVE it.”  Spark is an energy/vitamin drink that has become my best friend!  When we have crazy weeks, I am so glad that I have Spark to help me get my energy to some level at which I can function.  My favorite flavor is Watermelon, but I like fruit punch a lot too!
  5. Velcro rollers for my hair – as I near the big – 4- 0…my hair is losing it’s life.  I’m beginning to see more and more gray and can we say crazy hair days?!  Some days I have volume, but most I have limp hair.  My velcro rollers are becoming my best friends.  (In fact, I have them in my hair right now as I type!  My kids love it!)

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Our Amazing Grace

Today is this sweet girl’s 13th birthday!

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Cliche though it may be…WHERE DOES TIME GO?  I honestly feel like we were rushing to the hospital yesterday!  Grace is turning into such a fun, kind, Jesus-loving young lady and I am so blessed to be able to watch her grow.

Here are a few things that I love about her:

  1.  Her laugh is infectious!  When this girl laughs, she lights up a room!
  2. She loves to serve others, and her favorite place to serve is at camp.
  3. She has found a love for horses.  This is our girl that does not love other animals, but she does love horses.
  4. She loves to cook and help in the kitchen.
  5. She loves Jesus and loves being a part of church.
  6. She loves to dance!
  7. She loves to sing!
  8. She is a true and loyal friend, to the end!
  9. She loves being herself, and has never worried about what others think.
  10. She loves to read and have quiet times to herself.
  11. This girl is FUNNY!  She has a great sense of humor and surprises me with her wit daily.
  12. She watches American Idol with me, and we usually make the same comments.
  13. She is the best daughter a mom could ask for!

Happy birthday to our Amazing Grace!

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Words of Wisdom Wednesday – Dr. Seuss

Today is Dr. Seuss’s Birthday!  Go have some Green Eggs and Ham!

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