Monday, July 29, 2013

Why I Do What I Do...

People have asked me why I teach, and I don't really know how to answer.  How do you explain something that you love to do?  I teach because of the kids.  I love being around my kids.  Yes, they are my kids.  Sure they belong to someone else, but during the 56 minutes that they are in my classroom, they are mine.  I get the privilege of watching them grow and learn.  Teaching them that if they just push themselves a tiny bit further than they think they can, they can accomplish more than they thought possible.

I do it for moments like this:

Nick, Ryan, myself, Kristen, & Amanda
I had all 4 of these kids at different times (kind of).  On the far right you have Amanda, she was the first one I had.  She was a cheerleader, now she's a Marine Corps Boot Camp Drill Instructor, and she just had a baby boy who is sooooo cute!  Keep Amanda in your prayers, she's a new mom, and Caleb's dad (also a Marine) is currently deployed.
This is Amanda- In case you didn't think that smiling sweet girl was really a Drill Instructor

Next to Amanda, you have Kristen.  I had the privilege of having Kristen twice- as a sophomore and as a junior.  As a Sophomore, I had Kristen in Chemistry and she had a rough start to the school year when she fell and broke her finger and I believe part of her hand and required surgery.  We were able to use her x-rays the following year when I had her again in my Honors Anatomy class.  Kristen is currently a very successful college student at NIU.

On the other side of me is Ryan.  I had Ryan only for one semester, and I didn't even get to have Ryan for the full semester, because I went into labor with Noah.  He did work hard for me while I was there and he was great for my maternity sub.

At the end is Nick, and he is the reason we are all together.  On Saturday I was invited to his graduation party.  Nick graduated from high school.  Here's the funny thing: I NEVER had Nick as a student.  Why were you at his graduation party then, you might ask?  When Nick got to high school, Kristen was also still in high school.  Kristen made sure Nick knew who I was.  Nick visited me almost every single day, especially his junior and senior years of high school, even though I was NEVER his teacher. 

Can you tell that this family is extremely special to me?  All four of them are amazing people, and you should meet their parents!  This is why I do what I do. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Big Sleepover...

So, Ryan and I had this idea of having Jaime's 3 kids come down and spend the night before Rori's birthday party so that Jaime and Bill could get their house ready for the big bash.  The night before, Jaime called and warned me that Liam (6) and Brendan (3) were having second thoughts and may not come, which I totally understood, because Noah is also a huge Momma's boy and homebody.

Friday morning, Jaime called me and told me the boys were a "go", so Ryan picked them all up after he finished summer hours and drove them down to our house.  The first 15 minutes was pure chaos with children running and yelling all over the house.  It was insane!  Then, we packed snacks and water and had all the kiddies put on their swimsuits and sunscreened them up, we were headed to the splashpad.

The kids played at the splashpad for over 2.5 hours.  I think the other people at the splashpad thought that all 5 kids were ours and that we may have had 2 sets of twins (Noah & Liam, Juli and Brendan).  Of course there were injuries- poor Liam tripped and fell, skinning his knees and 1 elbow.  Then he slammed his face on the slide.  Good thing I always keep a first aid kit in the van!

After that, we took a walk, and they ran around some more, playing and dancing on the stage that was there, Ryan decided, "Hey, lets do ice cream before dinner!" So, we headed to Mickey D's for ice cream cones.

Yes, I know we forgot to lower the head rest on Noah's booster after Rori sat in it
From there, we picked up a couple of pizzas for dinner and headed back to our house.  The kids didn't eat much- I think due to the excitement of the day and the ice cream.  The 3 big kids then played some Lego Star Wars on the Wii, and the 2 bubba's went outside to play.

Later, we sent all the big kids outside to play and Ryan filled the kiddie pool and set up the sprinkler for them.  They ran around like crazies and played for another few hours.  Of course there was another injury- poor Rori fell off the swing and hit her chin on the ground.  Then, we did sparklers and made S'mores in the fire pit.

All the kids smelled a little smokey from the fire, so we decided to give the big kids showers, and the little kids a bath- because Rori's birthday party was the next day.  Rori is self-sufficient, so we just had to turn on the water and she took care of herself.  Ryan bathed Juli and Brendan, and I was the lucky recipient of Noah and Liam's shower (holy cow, 6 year old boys are crazy!).  By then it was well after 9 PM, so Ryan and I set up 5 beds in Noah's room for the kids, while the kids watched a movie and had some snacks, and then we joined them. 

A sea of beds
Around 10, we called Jaime and Bill to say goodnight, brushed teeth and headed to bed.  They settled down fairly quickly (Ryan gave up around 10:15- he needs sleep, or it's not pretty), except for Noah and Rori who were coughing.  After some cough medicine, and a call to Jaime to see what else I could try for Rori's cough, I returned to Noah's room, to find Rori sound asleep and curled up next to Noah in his bed.

Noah and Liam slept until 6:30, Rori and Brendan slept until 7:30, and Juli slept until 8:30.  Ryan cooked them a delicious pancake breakfast, and then we started getting everybody packed up and ready.  Of course, Juli said to Brendan, "Come on, let's be naughty!" (That's what the 2 of them do), so we had to keep one eye on them while we were getting ready to leave.  And then we headed up to Jaime's house for Rori's birthday party.  Her party consisted of water balloons, the cup game, and lots and lots of swimming.  Everyone had a great time.

When we left their house that night, it didn't take long for our kids to conk out, and they slept until 9:45 the next morning.

It was a good time and we look forward to many more sleepovers like this one :-)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Why So Silent?

I have been silent on here, not posting much this year.  There are a few reasons- losing Finchy so soon after Chili Dawg hurt quite a bit, our family has been plagued with illness (I haven't had ear infections or sinus infections since I was a little kid and a teenager and then pink eye hit our house...), but there's a bigger reason.

Have you ever done the right thing?  I mean, you KNOW in your heart of hearts that you have done the right thing.  You've prayed about it.  Been up thinking about it because it's constantly on your heart.  You know that when you do this right thing that it may cause waves, but it's the right thing to do.

Yeah, that happened to me.  I did the right thing.  TWICE.  The first time, I watched and nothing happened, so I went one step beyond.  Nothing happened.  The people that were supposed to change the thing that was wrong didn't fix it.  There was no where left for me to go from there.  I will admit, it devastated me for a long time.  To know I did the right thing twice.  Not once, but two times, and nothing happened! NOTHING!  I was angry.  Very angry.  Ask my friends and family, it wasn't pretty.  But then, other people stepped up and said something as well.  Because they saw how angry and hurt I was, they said something.  Nothing has happened still, but more people have spoken up.

Will I still do the right thing again, knowing that this will probably happen to me again?  Of course.  That's how I was raised.  That's the example I want to set for my kids.