Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer Sammyisms

Okay, so I can't even stand all the cute things that Sam is saying these days!  I must share!

Sam standing by fountain in Lakeside:  I want to make a wish for you.  What is your wish?

Me:  My wish is that you would be a good listener and obey me.

Sam:  Well, that's never going to happen, so make another wish!

Me:  I think we should get Daddy a chocolate milkshake at Netty's when he comes this weekend.

Sam:  OK, but you do know that I really, really like those a lot.  They are my favorite!  Could I pwease get one, too?

Sam making a paper mache volcano:  Do you think the concoction will be hot lava?

To his Uncle Jon on the phone about a yet to be determined visit:  The party is going to be at the beach and the park, but you can pick the time when you get here as long as you bring your swim trunks.

Me:  Do you want to go to God Squad?  (Like VBS with the amazing Chip Richter)
Sam:  If there is God Squad, I will be there.

Sam jumping from bed to inflatable mattress:  You might think this is dangerous, but don't worry.

We are settling in to a schedule and routine that is working for us.  We love the Ida Rupp Library in Port Clinton.

More funny Sammyisms are sure to follow.

What great lines have you heard this summer?

Friday, June 21, 2013

What Ya' Got Cookin'?

I'm so amazed by the generosity of some people. Rosalyn, you are one of those people.

She says to Sam, "Do you want to make some cookies with your mom?"  She has dough and everything else ready to go.  If that weren't enough she then pulls out a kid size chef's hat!  We had so much fun!

I hope you're cooking up something fun this summer!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Doing Less and Being More

This is a kid who knows how to BE present.  That is one content face!  He is not trying to impress or fool anyone.  He is just BEING.  {He was swinging today at a little park in Port Clinton.}

Boy, I want some of that.  And I'm kinda' wondering when I lost it.  

I think I should confess I prefer to DO present.  What is the activity and action?  What will I have to show for myself?  I feel like I always need to be doing something.  I think one of my lessons for this summer is going to be DOING LESS and BEING MORE.  It seems so simple, but if feels so complicated.  I want to be comfortable in my own skin without needed to do.  I want to just chill with Sam and have that be enough.

Don't you love how much kids teach us?
Do you have any tips about Doing less or Being more?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Artist in the Making

Yesterday Sam and I spent time painting at home, and then he got to go do some easel painting, too!

What are you doing that is fun and creative?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bagels and Mud Puddles

Shouldn't everyone have a chance to eat bagel sandwiches by a big lake while the water laps the shore and build giant mud pits in the sand with total strangers who are open and receptive to whatever you have to offer?

I hope you're making time for some bliss in your world!

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Confessional

I started this blog a little over three years ago.  I started it in the midst of the worst and least supported year of my life as a teacher.  I started it as a tool of my own survival.  It worked!  I'm still here.

At the same time I created a three year plan.  I anticipated that the school year that just finished was going to be my last year as a classroom teacher, except it's not.  There is a little part of me that is disappointed that life does not move on my time frame, but here is the crazy thing.  I am totally content.  This is true.

How did this happen?  You may be wondering this right along with me.  My circumstances did not magically change.  I haven't given in to the belief that we are going down the right path by testing kids to death.  In fact my paradigm is probably stronger than it has ever been before.

The changes have been in me.  I have a stronger awareness about who I am as the teacher.
I know I am not a magician who can change very much of anything.
I recognize that the most powerful work I do with kids is about them at a social, emotional and interpersonal level.
I recognize that I am not going to change the mind of any parent, administrator, or coworker, and that is OK.
I can still state the truth from my perspective, but I don't drive myself crazy when others don't respond.  I realize that my work is never done, so I can balance my life outside of school--at least most of the time.
I am freeing myself up to get present, enjoy the little moments, and savor every victory--even those for which I receive no credit.
I can also release criticism in a way I never could before.  I might not get the credit I deserve, but I don't accept the blame I don't deserve either.
I can choose kindness or not, but it's ALWAYS a choice.

I am watching my creativity expand, and I am delighted to say that many of the opportunities that I was once chasing after are now chasing me--summering at Lakeside, painting, yoga, playing with my son, and so much more is unfolding before me and around me.

I confess, I've surrendered my struggle--at least most of the time, and I'm delighted to have the season of my life, but I'm also anticipating next year and the adventure it will bring.

I don't think I will be in the classroom too many more years, but I'm content that my three year plan hasn't work out, yet!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Landing at Lakeside

Sam and I have landed at Lakeside for the summer.  We are in the process of exploring and finding a life rhythm that works for us.  We are easing into everything--living arrangement with the amazing Barnhills, working at Miss Mercedes, and enjoying life by the lake.

First moments in Lakeside sand

Enjoying the rocky beach by Marblehead Lighthouse

First moments in Lakeside's new splash park

Enjoying the playground

What are you up to this summer?

Monday, June 3, 2013

What's new?

Sam at Lakeside over Memorial Day Weekend

I've been really quiet here during most of this school year.  You might wonder what is new.  The answer is A TON!

As of June 9, I will be a certified yoga instructor.  This has taken a major time investment this year, and it has been so worth it.  I have been forever changed.  I've also started instructing a weekly class this spring.  {We will be on hiatus until September.}  I'm planning and looking forward to starting a child and parent/caregiver class this Fall, too.

Candles and twinkle lights set a calm stage for yoga.

I have started to explore presenting my art to the world in the form of whimsical and fresh acrylic paintings.  {I'm doing this in part with the goal of being able to send my son to private school in another year.}  I've had 2 pieces shown in juried shows, and I'm very pleased to say my original art is available exclusively at Miss Mercedes in Lakeside, Ohio, and her new location in Marblehead, Ohio!  See more of my paintings in the Brave Art Gallery.  {I will soon be making prints available.}

Joy-full Overflow, acrylic on canvas, 2013, original size 11 x 14

My family dynamic took a radical turn this year, and so I have been learning how to be what has felt like a mostly single parent.  This has taken a great deal of energy and strength and patience to manage a spirited 4 year old every day after school until bedtime.  {Frankly, his bedtime often was my bedtime!}

I'm so excited to be able to take Sam to Lakeside for the entire summer.  No matter how wonderful that it--and it is WONDER-FULL--there are plenty of challenges and extra planning on both ends to make such an adventure work.

I'm learning more about how to be a better teacher and navigate my way into Common Core and the new Ohio Teacher Evaluation System.

It's been a long season of change and becoming.  I've been all over the place.  I can say that this has been a real season of internal growth and shifts.  I'm looking forward to being able to share more creativity and tales of my life as a teacher and mom and human being.  I'm looking forward to how everything is going to shake out.

How are things going for you?