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Welcome to kindergarten! Join me as I share my experiences in the classroom, my professional learning and reflections and my love of teaching. Teaching is an exciting journey - come along as I share mine!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mackenzie Rose

Read more Slice of Life stories at the Two Writing Teachers blog with Ruth and Stacey.


Your baby blues are innocent, sweet
Your chubby fingers hold mine tight
Your smile is like sunshine

Your baby cheeks are pudgy-round
Your feet wear my shoes
Your giggles are contagious

You were here for such a short time
You brightened our days
You will hold our hearts forever

In Loving Memory
Mackenzie Rose
12/8/98 - 8/8/00


My niece was my little princess for almost two years before she and her babysitter were lost in a car accident.  She could make you smile and lighten your heart without effort. She was our little "Rosebud." 

Love you forever, Baby girl

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Children Are A Choice

I am the mother of four children ages 9, 7, 4 and 1.  I chose to be a mom.  I chose to have four kids.  Is it busy?  Of course!  Are some days better than others?  Of course!  Some days I have lots of patience.  Some days I don't.  Some days my children are full of giggles.  Some days they are not.  I also teach kindergarten full time.  I chose to be a teacher.  Am I around children all day?  Yes.  Do I love it?  Yes.  Are there good days and bad?  Of course.  Am I exhausted at the end of the day?  Yes, but it's a good kind of exhausted.  It's the kind of exhausted that feels like I did something important that day.

I am continually surprised by the number of people that know I am a teacher and then find out that I have FOUR kids at home.  That's how they say it.  "You have FOUR kids at home?"  Yes.  Yes I do.  It's a choice that I made. 

Isn't having four kids hard?  Isn't it hard after spending all day with kindergarteners?

No.

Cancer is hard.

Children are a choice.

Death is hard.

Children are a choice.

Life is like a roller coaster.  You can shut your eyes and scream for your mommy OR you can throw your hands in the air and enjoy the ride.

I choose to teach full time and I choose to have four kids.  I choose to throw my hands up in the air and enjoy the ride.  I wouldn't trade it for the world. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Words Matter

For more Slice of Life stories head on over to the Two Writing Teachers blog hosted by Ruth & Stacey.


Yesterday I heard it.  That dreaded sound that all parents hate.  The sound that changes your life for a day, maybe more.  You know the one.  The sound of your child throwing up.  Yes, that's what I heard yesterday from my seven-year-old.  To make matters worse, I heard that sound in the van on the way to school in the morning.  Is there any worse time to hear it?  And, since my 9-7-4-1-year-olds (ok fine, I will excuse the one-year-old) don't seem to know when it is coming...well, I'll spare you the details.  Although, if anyone knows how to teach that skill to children, to know when they are going to get sick, PLEASE SHARE YOUR SECRET WITH ME!!!

Anyway, I'm getting off topic here.  "The incident," as I'm calling it, happened just around the corner from the babysitter's house.  Luckily, I was able to pull into her driveway.

Because my babysitter, B, is awesome, and by awesome I mean phenomenal, she rescued me.  She came out to the van carrying paper towels and wet wipes to clean up.  As we were cleaning, she asked me, "What does a teacher do in this situation?  I've always wondered."  

"I have no idea!" is how I actually replied.  "I guess I will be taking her home because I have no other option today."

At this point, B tells me that my daughter can stay at her house.  She can stay in her bedroom, sleep, watch a movie, color, etc. until I can take her home.  She can stay all day or part of the day or whatever I need.  (See, I told you she is awesome!)  And, here is where the real story begins.
 
B's mother-in-law just passed away last week.  She had been sick and B's family had been preparing for her move into their home so they could take care of her.  B and her husband had transformed their bedroom into a comfortable room for his mother.  They moved furniture and created a space that would work for her.  As part of the preparations, B urged her children to decorate the bedroom for their Grandma.  She bought special markers so they could write messages on the windows and mirrors for their Grandma.  She bought poster board and markers so they could write messages to hang on the walls and decorate the room.  Unfortunately, their Grandma passed away before she was able to see the bedroom and all the girl's hard work.  
 
When I walked into the bedroom to pick up my daughter yesterday, I stopped and stared.  I couldn't do anything else.  All I could see were the bible verses, prayers, uplifting messages, comforting words and pictures that were surrounding me in this room.  It is an ordinary bedroom that had been transformed with words.  Important words.  Words that uplifted my spirit.  Words that felt magical in this ordinary space.
 
I had a hard time carrying on my half of the conversation as I looked around the room. I couldn't speak around the lump that formed in my throat.  I could not tear my eyes away from the writing that was all around me.  It may have been someone else's words that the girls had written down but they had sought out and written down such perfect messages for their Grandmother that it touched my heart in a way that I can't shake.  Oh, the power of words!
 
I have found myself thinking about this hundreds of times ever since.  I can't shake the feeling I had in that room.  I can't shake the magic of their words.  The story they created for their Grandma.  B told me that the girls felt really bad that their Grandma didn't get the chance to see what they had done.  B's response?  "Maybe this was God's way of preparing you, not really for Grandma at all."  That is the response of a special lady. This is the woman who is caring for my children every day.

The world is lucky to have people like this; people who can see an opportunity for words/writing/stories and know that stories matter.  My family is lucky to have B in our lives; a person who shares her love through words and actions both.
 
And, I can't help but think of Ruth Ayres' wise words. She says, "Words matter. Story matters."  Yes, it certainly does.