Thanks for checking in. I would love to hear from you.

Have a wonderful day my friends!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Happy Move In Day!

 When we had our children (which seems like just yesterday)
our goals were to raise them with kind and gentle hearts, 
strong work ethics,
communication skills that would benefit them,
respect for all others,
 the willingness to help others,
 a love for God,
and actions which would lead others to see Jesus through them.
As parents, we work towards having our kids leave the nest.
We work to make sure they have the life skills and are responsible enough to "make it."
I know that this is what we've worked for, but how did it happen so fast?

Just two weeks ago we took this young man to college.
(Wasn't it sweet of him to have his picture taken with me on my first day of school?)

I can't even begin to express the pride I have in my heart.
God blessed us so much when he gave us the opportunity to be his parents.

Happy Move In Day!
Go Gorillas!

Do great things.
Be your best!
Make us proud.
Remember that we love you.


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Summer Vacation 2016

Summer vacation 2016 has come and gone.
(WHAT?!?  ALREADY!?!????  HOW can it be???)

It was very, VERY full of activity,
but it was so nice.
I've always said that one of the very best things about being teacher
is that I have the same schedule as our kids.
I still hold this statement as truth.
There's nothing better than having time to play with my own kids!
The play has certainly evolved since they were little, 
but I still love to be with them.

Courtney had a birthday and turned 15!!
She got her driver's permit and has enjoyed driving since.
(We are still working on being safe --and smart--in parking lots.)

In July, Cory and I celebrated our 21st anniversary with a nice date night.

I had a birthday in July.
For my birthday, I asked that my family give me the gift of time.
They completely played along. 
We spent an entire weekend together.
It was a perfect birthday, and I couldn't have asked for anything more!

Corbin finished his Associate Degree this summer!
He had 2 classes to take in order to be completely done.
What a relief for him to get that out of the way.
When he starts school this fall, 
he will be an incoming freshman but will take Jr. level classes.
This Momma is beyond proud of his hard work and accomplishments!

When Corbin's finals were over, Mr. took a day of vacation, 
and we went to Kansas City for 3 days of more family fun!
We filled the time with shopping, movies, and more shopping, 
We played at Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun.
We ate some really good food!
We shopped a little bit more and then headed home!
The family time was fantastic.

I can't believe that summer is over.
Wasn't it just yesterday that school was out in May?
I can't believe how big our kids are, either.
What happened to the days of summer play?
Today, as I reminisce, I miss the days of swing sets and trampolines.
I miss the bikes and water sprinklers in the yard.
I miss the sidewalk chalk and bubbles.
I miss the kiddie pools and slip 'n slides that kill the grass in the yard. 
Those patches of dead grass were tell-tale signs of sheer childhood happiness!
I loved the sweet sound of giggling kids as they played in the yard.  

Summer vacation has certainly changed from those little kid days,
but I still love every minute of it.
I'm so fortunate to have the kids I have.
I am BLESSED that they like to spend time with me 
and that I like  to spend time with them.
I love watching them do what they love.
I am proud of them for being their own little people.
They are helpful, kind, thoughtful, fun, and FUNNY!
They will always be my babies,
and I will always look forward to time spent with them.
I'm still amazed that God chose me to be their Momma.
I'm so lucky to have that job.
I'm very, very lucky to have my teaching job 
which has always allowed me to have the same schedule as my kids. 
 It's allowed me the opportunity to spend time with them every summer. 
 Not all Mommas have the chance to play with their kids during the summer.
Today, I'm appreciating my schedule and the time I've been given.
Summer vacation might be over,
 but we've made some very good memories along the way.

I hope you had the chance to enjoy your kids, too!!
Summer is delicious!!!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

We Made It Through. We Survived! (It's a LONG one!)

We survived.
I keep changing the title because we made it to the other side of so many things.
I last posted in March.  
A LOT has happened since then.

This one kind of got out of hand.
It's longer than any other post.

This will be a huge attempt to recap our Spring Semester.
We had a Staycation during Spring Break this year. 
We stayed home so the kids could do homework and relax.

Track season began at the end of February.
The kids hit the ground RUNNING!
Preseason went so fast.
Before we knew it, it was April, and the kids were at the first meet of the season!
Corbin came home with an ankle injury due to a poor pole vault landing.  Ouch.
That earned him a trip to Urgent Care to make sure  it wasn't broken.
$$ Ouch $$
The good news was it was only a sprain.

1st crutches for either of the kids.

So...we left him at Grandma's for the weekend while we took Courtney to Kansas City for a volleyball tournament!  There was no way he would have been able to walk as much as we did this weekend!

The tournament was phenomenal.  There were SO. MANY. TEAMS!
There is no way that I can put the experience into words.

 The team!

 Lunch together at Cheesecake Factory!

 Team Bonding at the Escape Room!
We heard lots of laughing in there.

 Anticipation at it's finest.

Tournament play was over for us at this point in the weekend.
I'm happy to see she was still smiling.
(Oh!  ...and she learned a new technique for icing her shins.)

Courtney learned a lot about herself as a volleyball teammate this season.
She ended up with a strained hip abductor and couldn't finish the season.
She went to the Regional tournament to support her team, but she was unable to play.
That. Was. Tough.
I was proud of her.  She put on a smile and cheered on her friends.
It was quite sad, though, when the games were over.
She knew the season had come to an end and she didn't get to finish it with her friends.

What's a mom to do when her baby didn't get to play in the last tournament of the season?
GO SHOPPING, of course!
Okay...we didn't shop much.
Actually, we only bought one pair of shoes.
We did a lot of browsing and window shopping, though.
Retail therapy is always a nice escape.
It was a nice way to end the weekend trip before heading home.

Needless to say that this injury also impacted her track season.
It was a LONG season for her.
In the end, though, injuries allowed her the opportunity to sit back and watch coaching take place.
Injuries kind of  allow you to reconnect with and re-evaluate your goals.

This was taken in my classroom after a track practice early in April.
Corbin was still using ice on his ankle after vaulting practice,
and Courtney had shin splints.
They came to my room for the small ice!
 Love them!!

Okay...moving on...

This Kid.
He let me know at 4:45 pm that he had a Spanish National Honor Society program at 6:00.
...and... if I wanted pictures, I would need to be there.  haha.
My camera and the stage lighting in the auditorium don't really mix,
but I got this one after the ceremony.

The month of May was a blur.
There were award ceremonies, track meets, big assignments, lots of homework, baccalaureate, and All Things Graduation.

Here's the birthday boy with his ice cream cake.
18 already???

Courtney with track team friends.

This isn't the best picture, but they looked stunning!

Courtney supporting Brother during a meet in which she couldn't participate.

Corbin supporting her and encouraging her as she prepared to run.
He's always been so good to her.
She has always had the BEST brother.
The. BEST.

Track Banquet.
Both won nice awards.  
My favorite, though, was the Academic All-State Award.
They had to have a 3.7 GPA to receive this.
(Sigh...momma is So proud of her kids!)

Corbin and his Pole Vault coach!

Sign Out Sheet...nearly filled out completely.
He's ready for his last day of school at CJHS.

Picture with his Momma on his
Last day of High School.

Graduation Day Decorations.
Photo books, Sr. Pictures, and books with life advice covered the table.
Corbin's Bulldog Award is on the mantle.
He received it from the track coaches.
It is the award based on not only athletic performance, but attitude, 
willingness to work hard on and off the field,
 being coachable, treating others kindly, 
being helpful, and having integrity.
Once cup runneth over.
I couldn't be more proud.

These two.  Be still my heart.

He had Stoles from CJHS and Crowder College.
He also had stoles for National Honor Society
and Phi Theta Kappa (Jr. College National Honor Society) as well as
Cords for graduating with honors from both schools and  participating in
Spanish National Honor Society.

Oh, and he wore the GoPro camera for the ceremony.
The videos are great.
He has video of the Superintendent, Principal, and School Board Members telling him "Congratulations."  It was a hoot to watch.
Even though it looked goofy, it's footage of more memories to cherish.

Programs from Crowder College and Carl Junction High School Commencement Ceremonies!
Crowder Graduation was on May 14, but Corbin was at Branson for a track meet instead.
Carl Junction Commencement was the following day.

This is the group of kids leaving for the State track Meet!
It was a fun trip for them, and a fun way to to end Sr. Year!

...and then there's THIS!...
My classroom.

This is my empty classroom.
I am moving to a different building for the fall.
It looks so empty.
I've been a resident of Room 29 in K-1 North for 8 years.
Many terrific memories were made in this classroom.
Many new friends came into my life while in this room.
I must admit that just before I took this picture I had a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye.
Don't get me wrong.  I know that many new adventures await.
We will meet many new friends.
Change is tough, though, friends.
Change is tough.
I'm excited to see what lies ahead, though!

Changes are all around!
We're getting Corbin ready to go to college.
Bedding, blankets, desk organizers, Oh MY!

Courtney is getting used to the idea of Momma being her chauffeur again.
She has a new volleyball coach at school and is enjoying getting to know her.
She had pain in her hip for 10 weeks and was out of volleyball and track until the last week of June.
She is  a HAPPY girl now that she is back to normal and not hurting in her hip anymore.
She just turned 15 and earned her driver's permit.
She practices driving with her Daddy.
Most of the stories are funny and giggle worthy.
MOST of them...

That's it, I think.
It's been a very, very busy spring and early summer.
Lots of things happened.
I'm relieved to say that we made it through the month of May!
Many memories were made this year.
Many of these things are big things, but some of them are little things, too.
Lots of life lessons were learned along the way.
I can't even begin to express the love I have for our kids.
They amaze me all the time.
I admire them for their kind, loving, and giving hearts.
I admire them for being such terrific friends to each other!
They are the best little support team. crazy as it was, I'm proud to say we made it.
It was worth every single day/every single minute.
It was Delicious!

In all the crazy and busy days, remember to stop to notice the little things.
They really are the big things.
Enjoy the deliciousness, friends!!

...Shouldn't they still be this little??? .....

I'm a lucky Momma.
My heart is so full.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Does it Get any Better than This?

The girls were playing in a tournament with 20 teams.  
They worked their way from the bottom  to the top!
Champions for the first time this season.
It was a lot of fun watching them.
They were determined to win each set.
They were determined to win each match!
They were determined to have fun and take home the Gold.
The hard work and determination was worth it.
They are still smiling today.
I couldn't be more proud of Sister.
They were short a player, so she played back row.
She took a beating all day, 
but she overcame her frustrations by hitting hard on the front row!
I'm so proud of her.
My heart is full.
My cup runneth over.

It's as simple as that.
Life IS delicious.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Valentine Treats for the Teacher

Isn't this the best?

Students were given a secret project from a parent.
This is the end result.

I'm a very lucky teacher.
I love my Kinder Kids!
I love their parents, too!!!

Happy Valentine's Day, Friends.
It's delicious!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Memory Loss

I'm pretty sure that my memory is fading me.
That's what I keep telling myself, anyway.

Lately I've noticed that I'm very forgetful.

I forget why I walked into a room.
I forget birthdays.
I forget to put ingredients on the grocery list.
I forget to take the list to the store!
I forget where I put things.
I forget where I parked my car.
Sometimes I forget which car I took to  the store.
The list could go On and On and ON!

I have decided to slow down, though.
I've convinced myself that if I truly slow down I will forget less.  
More importantly, I will remember more.

I've started reading and thinking about Thankfulness.
I've always considered myself to be pretty thankful.
I give thanks daily ... 
for food, 
for our home, 
for a job that I love, 
for my incredible family, 
for our  health, 
for my friends, 
for reliable vehicles,
for the ability to see the morning sunrise and evening sunset,

I have always thought that those things were specific things for which to be thankful.
I've had it all wrong. 
These things are simply part of the "umbrella" of thanks.
They are still very general.
These things I've listed are not naming specific blessings.

Count your blessings and name them one by one.

Name them.

Yes, name them.
Be specific.

#1  Time in the early morning while the house sleeps to sit quietly with a cup of coffee, a candle, and a daily devotion.

#2  The sound of a heater kicking on while the cold wind blows outside.  

#3  Birds chirping as they search for breakfast.

#4  Christmas lights still strung on  the porch window. 
 Lights which remind me of my Daddy who celebrates Christmas in Heaven.

#5  January and new beginnings: 
 a fresh start,
 another chance, 
a time for changes in behavior and attitude and health

#6  The sigh of a sleeping child

#7  The warmth of a comfy chair, a cozy blanket, and the flicker of candlelight

#8  Pictures on a wall that show milestones and memories

#9  Daylight peeking in the window as the sun comes up behind the gray clouds

#10  The promise of this new day and all the possibilities which lie ahead

Yes, I still have a long list of chores to do.
Yes, the list is long.
Yes, it will take me most of the day to accomplish the goals.

If I can just slow down, though, I can enjoy the little things.
The moments.
I can take time to hear the furnace kick on.  
I can take time to see the beautiful gifts God has so graciously gifted to me.

If I notice the little things more often, maybe, just maybe I will remember more and forget less.
Now is the time to remember more.
The kids are growing up so fast.
The days pass so fast.
The friends come and go.
Days on a calendar creep up so quickly.
Everything today is fast.

I'm going to try to slow down.
to notice the little things.
to sit and visit longer.
to mail the letters to far away friends.

New year.
New beginnings.
New chances, right?

Life is too short and much too delicious to not notice the little things.
Slow down, friends.
Enjoy the deliciousness!

Living the Dream

Living the Dream
I love Christmas Eve when the house is quiet and there is nothing left to do but wait for Santa and Christmas morning to arrive!