Monday, January 16, 2017

January 16

I think God has given me more information about my word of the year.  I thought "beyond" was a good word- plenty to do with it.  Apparently, God wanted it more specific.  Or maybe it's January's version of the word.  I'm not exactly sure.  But, I do know that God wants me (probably most of us) to go beyond our complaints.

You see, that was what I sat down to write about.  Our washing machine broke.  We're a family of 6 that produces a lot of laundry.  The kids wear uniforms to school.  Chloe doesn't have enough uniforms to make it a week without doing laundry.  Because we rent, we can't just go out tonight to buy a new washer.  We have to wait, and the landlord wants to try to a repair, so it will take even longer.  Those complaints were where this post was originally headed.

 But, we've had a change of plans.  Tony just walked in the apartment after dropping some friends off at home.  He started right in about how close he was to getting in an accident with everyone in the car.  About how he didn't even see that the other car was turning.  How he looked up, saw the car, and has no idea how he didn't slam into the other car.  He doesn't really seem to remember breaking.

A new uniform shirt for Chloe costs $20, maybe $25.  Fixing the car would cost $$$$.  Ambulance and hospital bills even more.  I think I'm over the washing machine.

Feeling thankful,

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday, January 15

Tomorrow is a big day!  My students return tomorrow from Christmas break!  I'm so excited to see them all and hear about their vacations.   I have new students which means new people with new stories to hear.  I love people and their stories.

I think if you asked my students what was important to me they would tell you that working to your potential is hugely important.  I encourage it in my students and expect it out of my children- with varying degrees of success.  I have one student in particular, and one child in particular, that I push harder than the rest because I believe they have greater potential.  And, I see them doing less than their best.  That drives me crazy.  

I think it bothers me most because I feel like I was that student.  Grades came too easily for me.  I didn't have to work for them.  I never learned to struggle through an assignment.  I wish I would have learned that determination because there are times that I wish I could push through tough things- like learning Spanish.  I have no explanation for my inability to really master the language.  It makes no sense, but I've struggled for the past 6 years.  My Spanish, without question, has gotten worse.  How does that even happen?  Tonight's blog isn't about my regret, though.  It's about watching my child work hard.  And the joy that it brought me.  

Camilla is in a gifted program at school.  To be honest, I didn't realize that she should be in the program.  She was little when we home schooled.  I knew she was good at math, but she isn't the stereotypical "smart kid" who wants to take apart the vacuum and analyze the parts.  She isn't a bookworm reader or interested in figuring out Latin.  She wants to play with her sister, snuggle on the couch, and go on errands.  But, when we started school this fall, all Camilla could talk about was the gifted program.  It was her singular focus, and much to her pleasure, she got in.  When we went to the meeting that would let us know her test results, I was a nervous wreck.  But, she got in, and she hasn't looked back.

Each month, the students are given a code to figure out.  She didn't figure out the last code, and there aren't words to describe her frustration.  She came home with a new code last week, and I knew she had to solve it.  It's now 8:44.  That's 45 minutes past her bedtime (which is saying a lot for this sleeping beauty).  She's been working the code since 5:00.  She's almost done except I think there might be a typo.  An extra space that shouldn't be there.  I've told her to submit what she has, but she can't accept that.  She believes that her teacher wouldn't have made a mistake (she- like Chloe- is everyone's champion)

So, she continues to happily toil away.  She will finish tonight, and she'll enjoy the satisfaction that comes from working hard to accomplish her goals.  I'm not sure there's a better lesson for a 5th grader to learn.  I'm always proud of her, but tonight, I'm feeling a little more impressed.  May all my students (and I) give our best to everything we attempt.  And may we enjoy the satisfaction of successful completion.

Enjoy your week!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

January 14th- Celebrating the 15th

It's an anniversary day here!

To know my family (well, to know my father) is to know that we remember events.  We remember big events and small events.  We remember the anniversaries of football games and ER trips, deaths and births, meals and vacations.  We are rememberers.

When we lived in the US, my dad and I talked on a fairly regular, almost daily basis.  I'm confident that a week didn't go by when I wasn't asked, "So, do you know where you were # years ago?"  Of course, I probably didn't know because I don't usually know where I've set my water cup.  He would tell me the event- with varying degrees of scoffing for my inability to remember.  I am confident that I remember more from his reminders of events than from the actual events.  For example, I know that when the Rose Bowl is on I'm supposed to remember back to 2001 when USC played Northwestern and we all watched it at my parents' house after my mom and I got back from buying a stroller for yet-to-be born Chloe.  See?  We (meaning he) remember everything.  And it might be my favorite thing about our family.

Knowing this, it came as no surprise that Thursday night while I was whining over Skpye about how I tired I was that my Dad threw in an anniversary reminder.  "If you need to be reminded, Saturday will be Tony's 15 year anniversary at Caterpillar."  And, of course I need to be reminded.  (I do feel the need to say that losing my cup notwithstanding my memory is pretty stinkin' good.  I've creeped out a few people in my day with the stuff I remember.)  Tony's CAT anniversary just isn't on my radar because- not sure why.

But, here we are to January 14th!  Tony's 15th anniversary of working for Caterpillar!  I'm very thankful for the opportunities CAT has provided our family.

And, from the before and after, it appears Tony is much happier now.

Hope your Saturday is amazing!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday the 13th

Good evening!

I've known tonight's blog topic since 6:30 this morning.

My alarm went off this morning, and I immediately checked my phone to see if there was anything of note.  (As an aside: am I the only person who does this?  Who wakes up and goes straight to the phone?   Seeing it written makes me feel rather pathetic.)

As I was scrolling through Facebook, I came across a post from a friend of mine- a friend who was making a birthday cake for her son.  A Mickey Mouse shaped cake.  From scratch.  At 11:30 pm. She'd just gotten home from work.  She's also happens to be a single mom.  To 5.  Boys.  She was saying how tired she was, but how she was more blessed than she was tired.

And, I immediately knew what I should call today's blog:  Shut Up Friday.  Because, sometimes it's important to stop listening to your own thoughts.  Because it's important to get over oneself and look at the rest of the world.  And after my whining of yesterday, I need to shut up.

I'm sleepy because I'm CHOOSING to wake up early to go PAY someone to MAKE me exercise. (really?)  I don't want to get out of my well air-conditioned bedroom with my comfy bed with my loving husband.  You think it's time to stop griping and look at the spoiled brat in those sentences?

As I tell my students to tell themselves: My life is not difficult.  It's time to go beyond petty whining and see the big picture.  It's time to go beyond complaining and into praising.

Have a great Friday night!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Three-Thing Thursday

1.  Thursday are going to be exceptionally long days,  We have appointments in the city in the evening and the training in the morning.  It's going to take a while to adjust to this.

2.  My willpower ends at 6pm.  I was doing great with my eating until 6.  Then, I had McDonald's and a donut.  Fail

3.  God made me feel loved today.  I was kind of fretting driving downtown because Tony was meeting me in the city, and I didn't want to have to drive back home separately.  I had thought about taking an uber, but I didn't feel great about that either.  This afternoon at work a friend asked if she could run by the house to pick up something from me.  In the midst of conversation we realized that she was going to the store RIGHT NEXT DOOR to where I needed to go.  So, she was able to take me!!!  I cried I was so happy!


Wednesday, January 11, 2017


It had to happen eventually.  I always know that it is coming, but I still hate it when it does.  The kids went back to school today.  It's my least favorite kind of day.  I much prefer the kids-are-home-with-me kind of days.  I blame it on their father.  He went back to work over a week ago!  This is no good.
Beyond that, I went back to work today.  It was just a teacher in-service day, but it meant I wasn't able to go to the pool or the mall or do whatever else I did when I had full days free.

It really is funny how we humans are such "grass is greener" people.  We go to work and want time off to relax.  We don't have work, and we get bored.  Or broke.  Or a few pounds heavier.

Ultimately, I'm looking forward to this semester.  There are fewer random vacation days which means we can get in a routine.  The cantata is over which means we have time on nights and weekends.  Plus, there are no sports in season right now.  We will have the time that I so badly wanted in the fall.  Now to make sure we use it wisely.

Because if we do too much, we'll feel overwhelmed.  But, if we do too little, we'll feel like the time was wasted.

And around the circle we go...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tuesdays with the Trainer

Ok.  So, I told y'all that Chloe and I were going to start working with a personal trainer.  We met her on Thursday, and after meeting, we decided that this relationship might be a successful one.  That meant that today was Day One!

Yes, you heard correctly,  I went to be at 8:30 last night.  "Fortunately," I slept miserably Sunday night, so I was very ready for bed.  Even better, Tony was very excited to watch the BCS Championship Game, so I didn't need to feel like I was missing out on spending time together.  Promptly at 8:30, I was in bed.  Asleep by 8:32.  

My alarm went off at 4:30.  I woke up no problem, and I thought that I was going to have a quiet morning.  Except, as you also heard in the video, Tony decided that he and the dog should get up and celebrate our gym Day One.   As I'm sure you deduced from the video, this wasn't exactly what I had in mind.  Being awake enough to go the gym at 4:30 am is one thing.  Being excited enough about it to celebrate it is something all together different.

Chloe and I eventually made it to the trainer's house.  (Tony and Cosita went back to bed before venturing out for their run.)  We had a great first session!  The best part?  I was home and asleep by 6:30!  Woohoo!  Even better, I slept until 8:15!!  Clearly, I am a little behind on sleep.  And the most best part (I teach history now, so I can say, "most best.") was by 11, I had completely forgotten I'd even been to the gym!!!  Total victory.

We will see what life is going to look like with this because I can't go to bed at 8:30 pm on a regular basis.  I also can't go back to bed after the workout.   I'm afraid the real world is going to get in the way of my workout goals, but we will see.  This Thursday (like not tomorrow but the next day) we have our 5:00 am hour long class.  And, Chloe has school.  And, I have to be at work.  

Just in case I actually do make this a habit, I took a before picture.  Yes, I understand I'm not overweight.  No, I do not have an eating disorder.  Yes, I have problem areas.  No, I don't want to compare them.

I'm looking forward to feeling stronger, looking toner, and being healthier!  Nothing beyond that!  ;)

Chat later,