Sunday, February 10, 2013

Oh, here I am!

It's been more than 2 months since my last post!  I think I knew that my posts would dwindle once my Masters courses started, but I truly had no idea how insanely busy I would be!!  The past two months have been NUTS!  On top of a full time job, two kids playing basketball, one in dance, a dog, a house, and all the other stuff; I've added a class to my life.  I was amazed to find that I had to do a full day observation at another school for the course, and that I would spend 10 hours a week on it.  It's been a struggle, but I'm doing it!  The real test will be this week....conferences, family, AND the course work!  If I can make it through this week I can make it until graduation!

After two months you would think I have tons of fun things to say, and lots of news to share, but I don't.  We've enjoyed lots of basketball games, a busy classroom preparing for the Kansas State Reading Assessments in 3 weeks, and class work.  Tonight I realized I had 5 whole hours of free time.  I finished my course work and couldn't work on my student progress reports for our upcoming P/T conferences because they were at school.  I had the whole evening to relax and enjoy.....but I couldn't!  I've become so accustomed to being busy; I've felt on edge all evening with all of this free time.  I just don't know what to do with myself.  I feel like I should be doing something useful, something that will help me out later in the week, but for the life of me I can't think of what that might be.  I'm completely frustrated with my inability to relax!

It makes me acutely aware of how much I need to take more time for myself.  I am constantly saying how much I need to get back to yoga and running, but I don't make the time.  How is it we know what we need, but we won't do it.  I will make time for almost anyone in my life, do whatever is best for the people I love, but I won't do it for myself.....why is that?

I think it's high time I found a few hours to go after what I miss! I miss being pain free on the weekdays.  I get this horrible pain in my left shoulder/neck every Monday by the middle of the day, and it lasts until Friday night.  It can be unbearable at times and difficult to move, or it can be mild and just a nuisance....but it's always there! It's gone all weekend, and then it's back again on Monday and sticks around until Friday.  I miss running!  I'm craving it and I literally dream about it at night, but I do nothing about it in my waking hours.  I miss meditating.  My crazy, busy, mixed up mind needs it desperately, but again, I do nothing about it.  I miss hand holding.  I can't remember the last time somebody reached out to hold my hand.  I miss happiness and contentment in my job.  It's been almost 3 years since I've had it and I just can't seem to get it back no matter how hard I try.  I miss having a social life.  It's been about 6 years since I've had any real social life.  I don't know how that happened, but I rarely (like seriously....almost never) do something that doesn't involve work or my children. 

I know all of this is a product of stress and fatigue.  I know once school is out and I get a little more free time I will feel better.  I know I have thousands of things to be thankful for and a pretty terrific life.  Tonight however, I missing a few things that just might make life a little sweeter.  Tonight I'm wondering if perhaps, I need to make time for happiness and quit working so darn hard!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Can't load!!

Have any of you run into this problem?  I'm getting a message that I've reached my limit of pics.  Can I delete some without deleting posts?  I'm not sure what to do.  Do you pay for a subscription?  I tried loading some to a private file on Pinterest and then using the URL option for loading pics and now, after 4 or 5 days, they're not showing up.  I would love some help with this problem!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

We're spreading the kindness at my house to my classroom!

So today I told my class about all the fun Random Acts of Kindness that my daughter and I have been doing.  You should've seen their faces light up.  You could just see their minds working on their own ideas.  When I asked if any of them would like to do something similar at school, every hand in the room shot into the air!!  They were so excited at this thought, it just melted my heart.  Last year I used these wonderful little ideas from Lil Light O' Mine

and Kinder Tastic.

I printed them out, cut them into strips, and we choose a new one each day.  We also decided it might be fun to do some nice things (secretly) for our Book Buddies.  We are also planning to give cookies and a huge thank you note to our day and night custodians.  When I asked my kiddos if they'd ever wrote a thank you not for the custodian or given either of them a card they all said, "No."  Then they all started talking about how much work they both do and how grateful we are for them. They were all a buzz this afternoon thinking about their ideas for being kind.  I can't wait to see how much they inspire me over the next few weeks!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Currently and a few days of RAOK

It's time for the December Currently with Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade!!  I love reading what everyone else is doing this month.  It's just too funny that Farley has a RAOK on this months currently.  Saturday night my daughter and I decided we would complete 25 random acts of kindness this month, and then I hopped on to blog about it and saw Farley's December Currently.

We started Saturday night by heading to Dairy Queen for a half time treat during the K-State game and purchased the order for the people behind us.  Katie was just beaming....she said, "Mom, this is awesome!"  On Sunday we put this goodie bag on the neighbors garage door so they would see it when they arrived home from church.

Monday we are leaving a this for our mailman,

and on Tuesday we are leaving these in the teachers lounge for all the wonderful people at my amazing school!

Wednesday we are leaving a Pizza Hut gift card on the porch of a single mother with 4 children who is struggling a bit.

I can't wait to read what everyone else is doing!!!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

25 Random Acts of Kindness to replace 30 Days of Thankful

During the month of November I made a daily thankful post on Facebook.  I'm guessing a few people were sick of them by the end of the month, but I absolutely loved doing it.  Taking the time to think about what I was thankful for each and every day was wonderful!  I woke up this morning and really wanted to post something positive.....but what?  Then I got it....25 random acts of kindness.  The kids and I decided we would challenge ourselves to do 25 random acts of kindness over the next 25 days. 

I immediately jumped on Pinterest and Katie and I found TONS of idea!

The last pic game from the blog Lil Light O' Mine and she has a planning guide and tons of easy and fun ideas!  We are so excited about all of these ideas we can hardly wait to get started.  Since we are sorta jumping in at the last minute (it is already December 1st) we decided tonight to treat ourselves to a little Dairy Queen during half time of the K-State game.  While we are there we are going to pay for the order for the car behind us.  I can't wait to share each week how are kind acts are going and to see how they make the three of us feel!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A productive weekend!!

I wish I were blogging about all the school stuff I've accomplished this weekend, but sadly that is not the case.  I do have my lesson plans for this week already done and some fun Thanksgiving things for the two days after that, but I haven't touched the 64 writing projects sitting on my table waiting to be graded.  We used some books from our school library to research a state from the Southeast region.  The students then practiced using the table of contents, headlines, captions, and scanning pages to complete an outline,

used the books table of contents to locate the almanac and  filled out a fact page,

and finally, used their outline to write a 4-5 sentence paragraph about the history, environment, industry, and sites to see of their state.

They did an amazing job, and they were so impressed with their ability to write more than 16 sentences that they were beaming!!!

But, the real worked occurred at my house this weekend!!  I used the laundry soap recipe I found on Pinterest to make another batch of laundry soap.  You can read the original post here.  I love this stuff and it's costs about $4 to make 5 months worth of laundry soap.....BARGAIN!!!

I cleaned my washing machine following these easy instructions.  Ummmm, my washer was beyond nasty in the fabric softener dispenser and a few other areas. It is so squeaky clean right now that I can't wait to wash something in it!

I painted the little ugly, stained wall between my washer and dryer a bright, sunny yellow color and created a cute little sign to brighten it all up.  The sign says "Wash, Dry, repeat, repeat, repeat...."  I'm planning to make a fabric curtain to hide the paint and things that are stored down there and adding a few other touches to make that dark, basement laundry room a happier place to be.

I made the yummiest chicken with cornbread dumplings in the crockpot on Saturday.  You can find the recipe here.
I snagged this photo from the website....mine wasn't nearly this pretty in my old chipped bowls.

Since it was almost 80 degrees outside yesterday I cleared the leaves off the deck, and the porch, threw out the pumpkins that were starting to rot, and put all the chair cushions and flower pots in the shed.  Today it is 35 degrees with the windchill and the deck is bare.....waiting for winter.....and then the fun of putting it all out again next spring!

Finally I made these too cute Christmas trees for my dresser.  Since my bedroom has a beachy sorta feel I think these look darling against my giant piece of drift wood and my shutters.  I got the inspiration from Shauna Mailloux: Make Life Beautiful.  I took her advice and made my tree forms from cereal boxes we had in the recycling bin.

This is Shauna's lovely picture, my camera would not cooperate!  I can assure you mine are super cute, but her's are magnificent!!

I'm feeling so good about all the things I accomplished this weekend that I'm already making a list for next weekend.....that is if I can manage to use my time wisely this week and get those writing projects graded!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Getting out of a rut....

It's not easy changing your ways, getting out of a rut, reorganizing your habits....nope not easy at all!  I feel like it's time to make some changes in the way I use my time.  I know it's not going to be easy, and I anticipate a few slip ups (okay, probably several slip ups), but I'm willing to give it my best effort and see what can happen from a few simple changes!

I spend far too much time on the Internet reading blogs, checking out Facebook posts, scanning my email, and searching Pinterest endlessly for things I will file away and forget about or never get to.  I've decided there's just got to be a better way to spend my time.  I make a billion excuses as to why I don't have time to read, meditate, exercise, craft, and relax.  I know, it's blatantly obvious to everyone that I could give up a little time on the computer and make room for all of these other things.  Why did it take me so long to see it....I'm guessing because change is hard and I was avoiding the work.

I'm hoping to make one small change every 3 weeks.  The first one will be sorta huge, but the others will be small and not too difficult.  I'm hoping by making these changes I will feel more relaxed, happier about my choices, and more content.  My first change is a doozy.....I want to completely revamp my morning routine!  I am a creature of habit and have a great fear of change, so this one is going to be rough!  I really enjoy a cup of coffee, the silence of the house, and some time reading all my favorite blogs, pinning unnecessary things on Pinterest, and checking in on all my FB peeps.  But, is this really this really the best way to spend my quiet precious hour alone in the morning?  I just know I'm not doing what's best for me with that hour.....I'm wasting it by reading about what the rest of the world is doing.

Starting Tuesday (let's face it....nobody starts on Monday), I plan to use my hour for exercise, yoga, and/or meditation.  I'm working on a plan that will include 6 days of the week, and still allow my coffee and online time on Sundays.  I'm really eager to see what a difference it has made in three weeks!  I know Thanksgiving falls within my first three weeks, but I'm just going to be realistic about it.  We are traveling for the holiday and I know I'm not going to workout every morning of our vacation....I will see how those three days go and just be happy with any change I make during that time.

I'm also working on a school change that I will add when I reach my three week mark.....can't tell you what it is yet because I'm not 100% certain myself, but I know it's got to do with time management!