Monday, February 9, 2015

Day 153: Appreciation

It's finally happened!  That moment we have heard about and all been waiting for to happen.  That glorious moment when your adult child comes home from college and says "I miss living in a house that is so clean.  This kitchen is so clean.!"  Ok, well that might not be exactly the words you've been longing to hear, but the greater instance here is the fact that YES, your children will, someday, appreciate their parents!!

It tickled me to hear it.  Especially since our son was often pointing out areas where our house could use some sprucing up a bit.  He's been away at college just a little over a full semester and he was pleased to come home for a visit this weekend......to a clean house.  Much, much cleaner than his current living conditions- an apartment, loaded with 3 guys.  Messy guys.  Busy and messy guys.  He even went as far as to mention appreciation for his sisters and the "sharing" of the cleaning load that he used to have with them.  He put smiles on all of our faces with that comment!

So to all the parents out there.......who are currently feeling strapped and overwhelmed with the cleaning chores of running a happy home--fear not.  Your child WILL ONE DAY appreciate the cleanliness and efforts on your part to keep the house clean!

I always heard people say that one day your kids will grow up and appreciate what you did for them.  It's very nice to witness that moment and hear them express those feelings of gratitude in person.  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Day 152: I remembered!

Ok. Well , my last post didn't end well.  At least, it didn't end with an actual POINT.  That is when I left my brain for a second and recollected my thoughts and then BAM, WHAM, it hit me.  Like I knew it would.  See that's the thing with an aging brain.....it comes and it goes.....you have these great ideas.....and eh eh eh....they are here one day.....boom, you turn around and they're gone the next.  Sometimes it's not even gone before the day's end but yo get the idea.  

But this idea was spawned from a dear lady I follow on social media who calls herself Momastery.  She is an author and speaker and such.  She is spiritual and inspiration and REAL.  Mostly REAL.  That's her appeal, I think.    Anyway--her post was this:

Hell hath no furry like a child catching you throwing out ANYTHING, EVER!  I smuggle out broken crayons, like a Mexican Drug Lord!


Well that just triggered a bunch of flashbacks!  I suddenly saw myself being the young aunt who went around the apartment.....snatching my nieces play things as my sister (their mom) was running around on a rampage, pillaging their prized possessions in the name of CLEANING UP!  Oh so funny.  Not to my nieces, but now as I look back.  I'm sure I've had my share of those same mom moments, but at the time, I was so tender hear-ted that it saddened me to see my sister tossing items just because they weren't neatly put away.  Items that the children truly treasured and were sad to see "go".  I felt victorious in my quest to save those items from "THE PILE" or the trash.  Now, I'm sure I was similar in my manic mom moments.  Similar rants occurred over frivolous messes.  If only we had the wisdom early on in our parenting adventure.....that this too shall pass.  This mess, which is currently encompassing our home....will soon be a vacant memory of a fun, toy--mess-filled childhood that we long to see and hear again!  Oh, oh, oh if only.  I would certainly go back and CHILL OUT over the messes that stressed me out in days gone by.  I would certainly NOT have stressed so much.  But what in the world did I think was so important and VALUABLE about having super-uber clean rooms anyway??   Eh!  Now, when I knew better, I do better.  I am still kind of a clean freak- ok.  but I am certainly not as obsessive, control-live, or disorderly as I used to be.  Thank GOD!  Thank God I've learned and Thank God, I've grown.  WISDOM my friends, it's purely God given WISDOM that I have to thank for my gaining the grip on obsessive compulsive cleaning rampages of my younger years. 

Day 152: Wow is this really my first post of 2015?

I'll just let the title of this post stand for itself!  WoW!  Is this really my first new post of 2015???  So, I managed to make it through the holidays without posting??  I'm sure I thought about it.  I'm sure I even had plans to do it.......but the Christmas break is just so short....and let me just add that our sweet son was home from college for a whole month so it was wonderful!!!  I 
 really had so many ideas for posts over the Christmas season but alas,,,,,,,,I did not get to them.  Oh well, here we are in January.  All new and fresh with the new year and ready to post on!
I had so many inspirations too!  Just the sweetness of my son who is now a working man, and he took it upon himself to purchase gifts for his family this year!  I was so touched by this sweet gesture and felt that he has definitely inherited our love for Christmas spirit in a way that we would have desired--doing for others and giving of others over desire for self!  Perfect.  Just perfect. I could not ask for a better son.  He is everything I ever wanted in a son.  Loving, caring, smart, hard working, funny.....oh so funny!!  And on and on.  But this year he really impressed us with his passion for the spirit of the season and his gift giving style.  He was dead on with each gift!  Giving just what that person would have wanted but never thought to pen down on a list.  That's the magic of Santa and the spirit of the season.  
So onward to our wonderful holiday celebration.  It was long and slow and fast and smooth at times, but it always held us closer and tighter together, which is what I absolutely LOVE about the breaks.  They give us time together as a family, to refresh and reconnect.  They give us bonding time like no other time of the year.  Oh holidays---how special you are!
And then we come to the return of school and return to the grind of daily routines.  Ugh.  Just ugh.  Not that we don't all love our lives and daily routines......it's just that those precious times "off" together are so dearly treasured!!!!  
But we've managed to get back in the swing of things alright.  

I did want to post on a few points that I'd had recently hit me in the face!  They were inspired from some recent posts I follow and they truly made me stop and reflect (which, in my spinning brain--is a welcomed thing!).  And brings me to my next portion......I FORGOT!  Yes--I truly had a couple (at least) of posting ideas spawned by inspiration from my spiritual "friends" and yet.....I've already forgotten what they were!!!  Oh my.  The joys of an aging brain (at least that's what I'm going with here.).  So, if you keep up with this.....  I'm sure the thoughts will return and I'll be back posting some enlightening thoughts.  Until then.  Happy New Year!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Day 151: Fall Cleaning

The weather has changed and as much as I love Summer, I have to say, this chillier weather and gorgeous foliage is at least making the transition easier!  Someone posted about fall being God's grand finale of  nature!  And it truly is as if the trees have been saving up all summer for their last great outburst of gorgeousness!  



Along with this fall, came some heavy duty cleaning time for me!  I decided to finally tackle that one room of doom!  (Humor me here, and at least pretend you have one of those "areas" in your house that has become the junk drawer/pile/corner/closet catch all-I'll deal with it later, etc. )  You know, the one that is always on your to-do list, yet never seems to make it off the list.  Well, I tackled one teeny, tiny portion of the task today--a file cabinet!  It was a simple, 4 drawer cabinet that turned into an overwhelming 4 hour endeavor!!!  I'm not even kidding and when I realized I had been sifting through files and files and papers and envelopes for 4 hours......making a destroy pile and a recycle pile- it was the numbness I felt in my fingers that kind of weird-ed me out.  I mean, I didn't think your fingers could go numb.  What sort of repetitive movement could cause that?  Oh well.  I had finished and so I stopped and thankfully, the odd numbness went away shortly after, so it wasn't any big deal.  But--the thing about purging and organizing is that not only is it a huge stress reliever to sit back and admire a job well done, but it is also quite a little trip down memory lane when you filter through years and years worth of documents!  You find yourself chronicling your life in the process.  And I have to say, I came across a handwritten note that my father had written.  Hmmm  Hmmmm Hmmmm!!!  I miss him so and just seeing his handwriting brought tears to my eyes but I am so thankful that he was a list maker (like myself) because it was so heart warming to read several notes and lists that he had made......just months before he died.  He was such a planner and I admire that about him.  I adore that he wouldn't leave it any other way.  He was very sick and I know he was not up to making lengthy writings at the time he wrote these treasures, but he still did it.  He still maintained his impeccable level of responsibility, right up to the very end.  And I'm so thankful that I still have these morsels of him left to cherish.  It reminds me of where I came from.  It affirms the man he was and in a world that has evolved to where handwriting is a dying art, in a world of emails, texts and computer generated communications, it is still so nice to see genuine handwriting, especially of ones you love because you can hear them speaking the words when you read over it and it touches your heart to see their undeniably recognizable style of writing! 

And then I came across another note.   This one left me balling.  I know I've seen it before and it gets me every time I read it.  It was a note he was penning for his sabbatical.  In retrospect, I believe he knew he was nearing the end of his life and so he applied for a sabbatical from the University to do research.  He was just taking off one semester, but I think he hoped to get his affairs in order as well as continue his professional work with what little time he had left.  (When I read of the Randy Pausch story--I felt they had such similar personalities and attitudes towards their diagnosis.  Both great men and excellent role models for others)  This was a Randy Paush style act to write this note.  From the note, it was evident that my father had received some sort of communication requesting an update on the status of his research.  He was a man of impeccable integrity and he was also a pioneer in his field.  I was humbled reading what he wrote to the Dean of his department.  Here he was, within the last 3 months of his life, and he was still plugging away at one of his passions-work.  He was still giving it his all.  He was genuinely pushing forward with technological advances and analyzing them while always seeking to learn and do more. And he wouldn't have done it any other way.   I mean, he wouldn't have ended his journey here on earth any differently than he lived it.  He was a go hard or go home type A personality. He didn't do anything half way.  I see so much of myself in him and it tickles me to have that connection.  I am still so proud of my father!  Of the man that he was and the way that he lived.  He was the best example I could have ever asked for in an earthly father.  Flaws and all--I wouldn't change one thing about him.  He wasn't perfect-but he was perfectly loving and he was perfect for me.  My love, my rock, my all! <3   My friend, who is a professional organizer would be happy to know I tackled this task today.....and God smiled down with a little blessing tucked inside of it!  Like a gorgeous leaf hand picked just for me! :)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Day 150: Things that Make Ya' Go Hmmmm......or dare I say "rant" ;)

Today I have this personal post to share.....I won't call it a "rant" ;)  because that just doesn't suit my personality,  but it just so happens that our state has released test scores recently and I stumbled upon this post about testing through social media, and well......I have something to say about the whole deal-i-o!

Chuckle if you know me--because I'm the most positive person around--but even I can get a little discouraged, even downright confused over the test scores and what we can take from them!  It's a PRISM really!  You can look at it one way and see some very positive aspects, then you look from another angle and it can be so disheartening, considering how HARD educators work!   Desiring better results for our kids and seeing such huge personal/individual gains and having them not translate to amazing rankings, and results through the Dept. of Ed.'s accountability system is a difficult pill to swallow! (There.  I. said. it.)

So here's my "share" for the day!  Consider it a public service announcement (of sorts!) ;)  And I'm SUPER PROUD of the high performing schools in our district and area!  KUDOS to all!  It takes a village and it is remarkable to hear of the progress all around the state and nation.   My youngest child's elementary school had a personal boost of 10 points last year and this year, they maintained but didn't have the continued, bigger increase they were hoping for.  I don't focus on a number or a score and there's a reason why--testing is one measure.  I see the whole child, all day, every day.  I see REAL gains, progress, improvements in both behavior and maturity and a million other areas in between,  I see emotional issues and sometimes spiritual growth.  I see things that may always and may never show up on a standardized test.  So, while it is one measure--it is also just one measure.  :)

And that brings me to this post.  This struck a chord with me, so I share this, not to bash any particular publisher (Pearson, in this case, shhhh!) but to point out that we ALL make mistakes and there is so much VALUE in teaching students to THINK, PERSEVERE, PROBLEM SOLVE, QUESTION, and be CONFIDENT and COMFORTABLE that your method of solving may differ from others, but it can still be ACCURATE!  We have to increase our children's abilities to problem solve with tenacity and create life-long learners with a growth mindset!  My dad used to call this the "margin of error"  and INvalidity of tests, and he always graded his University students' tests (he had a PhD in Computer Science & Engineering and was a pioneer in Technology in his day!) with this margin of error (or %age) in their favor.  Granted, it can go both ways and anyone who has ever graded papers can attest to mistakenly giving a correct mark on an inaccurate response, but this margin of error covers it all.   Bottom line:  be real, be flexible, be able to see the forest for the trees--REAL LEARNING is what matters, not a score on a test!  Many learn AFTER the test--and what matters is the learning.....it's crossing that finish line of mastery, not the time it took you to get there!

Ok so what's the article, you might ask.  It's this:
errors on the test and why it matters in today's high stakes testing era

and it basically outlines how ANY company/publisher can have ERRORS.   Yes, you read that correctly.  ERRORS.  No big E right?  Well, that is all in how you view it, deal with it, and APPLY it to life! There. My $.02 for the day! Rant. Over. (Well, is she calling it a rant now? ;)  Said in my best Jim Gaffigan's audience-heckler-lady voice! :)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Day 149: Dementia and Alzheimer's post

Even if you have't fallen in love with the movie, The Notebook, you've probably learned about Alzheimer's and Dementia through various sources.  Well this post is an honorary one.  It honors ALL who've been affected by either disease and it honors a very special woman that I've known who has passed away with both of these debilitating illnesses.  Education is priority and COMPASSION is essential!  So here's to all who suffer or will suffer at some point in their lives with either of these illnesses.
http://growingupwithdementia.weebly.com/?fb_action_ids=10152670126949666&fb_action_types=weeblyapp%3Ashare

The compassion and LOVE is beautifully expressed and witnessed!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Day 148: Thankful for Technology

Technology gets a bad rap sometimes.   But honestly, it's super amazing!  I mean,come on......without it we wouldn't have the vast social media that we have today.  And I probably wouldn't be in my 40s staying connected to friends I had in college (or even childhood) without it.  SO for that, I am grateful!!  I often think of how much technological advances have really impacted my life and I am just.......thankful! Just tonight, I was  blogging about my students' latest Science experiment, and with in minutes, I had posts from college friends on similar experiences.  It's amazing!  One thing I remember my father saying.....as he was a fore-father of technology......was that it had infinite possibilities.  I love that.  Knowing the possibilities are endless.  Knowing that we can evolve and grow and change and learn and advance to limitless points.  That in itself, is pretty awesome.  Then you add in intellect, and the basic desires of humans to  move forward and do things bigger, better, faster, stronger, :)  well, and then you get the picture!   So tonight's post is to TECHNOLOGY!!!  How much we love it.  How much we NEED it.  And how much we USE it in life!!!