Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Because Glitter Makes Everything Better

Happy Valentine's Day!

Later today I will be celebrating all things "love" with 25 of the sweetest 2nd graders.  
(They are a handful, but absolutely delightful.)

Many of my students are "English Language Learners", and thus, not quite as familiar with our typical American classroom holiday traditions.  So, while I have sent home multiple notes and class rosters since January, there are bound to be children that come to school without any valentines to share.  (I always pick up extra packages of valentines for this very reason.)

One tradition that has seemed to gone by the wayside for all students is the art of the "valentine box". Most of my students have asked to make "bags" in the classroom. 


...this morning we decorate with all things sparkly!

Meanwhile, my own three worked hard on their valentines last night.  I was a bit disappointed in our reliance on "boxed" or "store bought" valentines this year, but the kiddos were with their dad over the weekend and we didn't have the opportunity to craft. 
 (There's worse things in life...right...please say "yes"!)

But even though they're store-bought...it's the sentiment that counts.  And all three of my children insisted on addressing valentines to each classmate rather than leaving the "to:" section blank as requested by their teachers.  (I actually encouraged my own students to individually address their valentines...I just think it's more intentional that way.)

And this precious valentine made me smile.  

I think God is smiling too...

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Beauty on Sunday

Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.

~Marcus Tullius Cicero~

I had breakfast this morning at the Neighborhood Cafe with my college roommate.  We've been friends for close to 30 years.  We've survived college heartaches...parenting fiascos...and now middle-age life crises together.  

We all need a friend like that in our lives...

...someone who has seen you at your best when you are feeling at your worst...Someone who can remind you of your worth and value...of your past professional and personal successes...Someone who can remind you that this season of life isn't permanent.  

After breakfast, we went to Post Coffee Company which used to house a US post office.  You would never know it.  Very hip.  Very pretty.   Even their Instagram account has beautiful images!  


Happy Sunday!  Wishing all of you a beautiful week ahead.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Messy in the Middle

"Change is hard at the beginning, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end."
~Robin Sharma~

Two years.  

It has been nearly two years since I last posted.  

And a lot of life has happened over these past two years.  

Most of it messy.  Because I'm "in the middle" of messy... living life as a single mother of three...teaching full-time...and dealing with the challenges of a shared custody schedule.

But I still can find reasons to smile...mostly because of these three. Girlfriends and my family help me to find my smile, too.

This was Christmas 2015.  A colleague, who does photography on the side, convinced me to let her take holiday photos for us.  I am so glad I did.  Looking back, I remember how I had to reapply my eye make up because I could not stop crying during the photo shoot...I had only been separated for about four months and my emotions were so raw.

Somehow...I found my smile.

and this SONG reminds me to smile...

As I begin to feel more confident about my new place in life, I am ready to return to blogging.

For me, this little blog has been my online scrapbook about our family life, and when our family life drastically changed, I shied away from documenting those painful days, weeks, and months.

But the reality is what it is, and the kids and I are finding happiness again.  Somehow, those months have now turned into years.  And life is good.  And God is good.  Always.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Puppy Love

Happy Summer Break!

While I know it's not officially summer on the calendar...and it certainly doesn't feel like summer here in Kansas City...we are all out of school (mama included) and enjoying lazy days and late nights...movie nights and day camps...bike riding and...PUPPY WALKING!!!

For our official summer kickoff, we adopted a new puppy!

Last October, right before Halloween, our beloved dog Burton escaped through an open door.  Always a runner, he dashed across the street toward our neighbor's home only to be hit by an oncoming pick-up truck.  And no...they never stopped.  *tears*

The loss of Burton affected us all, and although well-meaning family and friends recommended getting our children a new dog STAT, Chris and I felt it was in the best-interest of our family to delay getting another dog.  We knew that our children needed time to work through the grieving process (and honestly, they still are...) and I needed to be off from work and home all day to help with the potty-training process of a new pup.

As you can see from the pictures, Murray, has already brought so much joy and happiness to our children.  (Especially Benjamin who seemed to struggle the most with the grief process.)

Since we adopted Murray from our local SPCA shelter, we really aren't sure what his mix of breed.  Darling daughter has been pouring through tons of online animal pics and we think he might be a mix between Rat Terrier and Springer Spaniel.  He's not quite three months old and is full of mischief!  His brother "Bill" was also cute, but was already adopted.

And yes...the SPCA volunteers really did name the two brothers "Bill Murray".  LOL

Murray hates to be alone at night...although that seems to be getting better.  Of course, my kiddos didn't want Murray to "suffer" so they volunteered sleeping in shifts.  *smile*

Mary Catherine Sleeping in Front of Murray's Cage

Luke Keeping Mary Company

So that's a quick recap of our official Summer Kick-Off!  I have a ton of End of Year (EOY) school pictures to post, and with lots of "free time" *smile* I will probably post a couple of times a day.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Big Bangs and Aqua Net

Two weeks ago, my school celebrated Spirit Week.  One day was designated '80s Day.

This mama was able to rock it!  But so were my Third and Fourth Graders.  Maybe because so many of their parents are close to my age, and we all survived our teens in the 1980s!  *smile*

Here are just a few pics of my class from that day as well as Mary and Benjamin.  My principal told me my daughter was my mini-me.  LOL


First, we have early morning hair session…side pony, mall bangs, AQUA NET!

Then we arrived at school and soon my students began filing into my classroom looking like this…

Oh My Gosh…I wanted to die…have you seen "Something About Mary?"  LOL

And then there was these 2nd Grade Cuties!!!

My Sweet Benjamin!!!!

We ended the day with some big bang touch ups, compliments of Mrs. Kueter's AQUA NET!

You know that I teach my own daughter, right?  Our school is so tiny we only have one teacher per TWO grade levels.  Yup, I teach 3rd and 4th and Mary is one of my 4th Graders.  :)

Here are some actual vintage 1980 snapshots!

And for your own trip down memory lane…listen here!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Talent on Parade (Regional Dance Competition)

Just a few pics from a dance competition that Mary performed at a couple of weeks ago.

These were professionally shot at the Talent on Parade (TOP) Regional Dance Competition at the Overland Park Convention Center.

This is our first year to allow Mary to participate in Performing Company…I had no idea of the money-making venture dance has become.  Professional photographers…vendors…emcees…

…it's all a bit over the top if you ask me.

They certainly play to your emotions.  Who doesn't want to purchase pictures like this (Tap Routine to Live in Living Color)???

…or these…be still my heart!  (Ballet Routine to "I Feel Pretty" West Side Story)

Mary Catherine…2nd from far right.

Loved this back shot!

And I have more!  But I promise you…I am not THAT mom…

...I'm just not.

We've attended three competitions and I've only purchased one set of pictures.

Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting;
the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
(Proverbs 31:30, Source USCCB)

But I am proud of her courage to perform before such a large audience…against studios that prepare girls specifically for performances like these (waaay out of our league!)…and with joy in her heart.  And I am glad to have pictures to capture this exciting year in her life.

In Christ,