Story. The past seven days has been filled with delicious stories, stories that warm and encourage. Posts and pictures from friends make me smile. Texts bring laughter and support. Story has held me together.
Books cover my table. This is a celebration. Reading them. Touching the pages. Lingering over illustrations. Choices. I wrestle with what which books to share. Many tug at my heart, but I do not always know if they will touch my audience, if I will have time for them all. Beginning with my favorites, the stories I share will grab the hearts of many. I will have more books than time, so I will prioritize. Working on the presentation brings celebration to my heart.
Elizabeth’s open house was a success last Saturday. We celebrated her accomplishments, her memories, her friendships. We celebrated who she is – beautiful! Past and present teachers came, sharing stories that warmed my heart. Elizabeth laughed with friends, celebrating the growth they made.
We also celebrated thru the hard. Last week was filled with heartache and tears. A close friend from youth group drowned the eve of Elizabeth’s graduation. The news shook our household that Saturday morning and my mother’s heart broke as my children cried.
Stories is what healed. Memories where shared and simple stories soothed trouble hearts. We celebrated with the family, with the siblings, with their graduate too. We celebrated thru the hard.
Books are celebrations. Stories are celebrations. Memories are celebrations.
I celebrate …
Cheering at a South Bend Cub’s game where Wesley interns.
Completing my classroom packing for the big new-school-move.
Organizing my summer school lessons for kindergartners.
Unloading boxes and boxes and boxes of books into new bookcases at home.
Creating center pieces of sunflowers and daisies for open house.
Dining with my sister-in-law while sharing stories.
Watching adorable three-week old kittens on our porch.
I celebrate …
my daughter graduating with honor and pride.
my parents for their encouragement and support.
my husband for his love and wisdom.
my friend for her belief and steadfastness.
my sons for mowing and repairing.
my writing group for their spontaneous “Hello” and connections.
i celebrate … Thru the wonderful business of life!
A nearby strip mall has road bumbs paralleling the entrances. The slight up/down movement annoys me. A smooth road is the preferred. My face grimaces as I ride over the bump. Obstacles. Who wants them? Not me. But I see beyond the annoyance to the purpose. Safety. Caution. Alertness. By adjusting to the road bumb, I notice more. My attention is heightened.
This year feels like it’s been filled with road bumps, some spaced closer than expected. Low energy, never-ending cycles, unknowns interrupted my days. One day at a time became my motto. Diligent, my one little word for the year, strengthened my determination. I feel like I have been plodding along having mini-successes along the way thru the road of bumpy struggles.
Yet I smile. I haven’t blogged as much, but have notebook entries and a new presentation. Read fewer books, but have learned to tweet and be inspired thru testimonies of others. My house seems like a never-ending-revolving-door of school activities and “Mom, can you help me?” pleas from my kids, but I am cancer free. Laundry overflows just as the last shirt is hung. Our oldest brings college friends over and food is consumed. In an afternoon of homecoming, the straightened house is piled with belongings announcing his summer homecoming. The yard is a jungle as golf matches capture my attention. Application deadlines and essays written heighten tension, yet scholarships have been awarded. All of these things are road bumps purposefully causing me to be alert.
In the midst of organized chaos, the success of family blooms. The nuggets of success fill my heart with passion for loving the moment. I cling to my dreams of smooth cruising roads, but realize bumps will always be there. It’s learning to adjust my speed that makes this life journey a success.
“License and registration,” she said.
My heart started to pound. Once again, I was going through this agonizing process. There are specific rules we must follow. The Department does not budge, change her mind, or give in to an “I’m sorry” apology for not having the correct documentation. You better have your insurance card readily available as well.
She looked at the papers, signaled as she headed to the car. I just sat, heart pounding. This was my third time. It didn’t matter. I was anxious! Would it be okay? How long was this going to take? I said a silent prayer that this ordeal would pass painlessly.
The clocked ticked away. She returned. Tim signaled me with a thumbs up and a smile. A sigh of relief expelled as my motherly heart began to slow down.
“He passed his driving test,” she said.
Our last child is now a licensed driver. “Mom, I think you were more nervous than I was,” Tim stated on the way home. He must have heard my heart pounding.
My parents 51st wedding anniversary.
Wesley calling, sharing about baseball and college.
Elizabeth texting updates from Florida fun.
Tim helping with chores (and talking too), sharing Chinese for lunch.
March madness cheering.
Girl talk with Melody.
Returning to a collaborative staff.
Being greeted with delightful, “Yeah. You’re back!” from children.
The cooks giving me hugs (they are so delightful!)
Reading posts and smiling.
Receiving comments from Slicing friends, old and new.
The distance between the Title I room and the first grade hallway is looong, especially for little legs. When my room was changed this year, I began pondering the amount of time it would take to walk, the children’s behavior, and the instructional time. Normally, my assistants and I service small groups, ranging from 1 – 4 students each. Interactive Writing with first graders is different. We have sixteen students for the initial teaching, modeling sentences and word parts. Midway during the thirty minute segment, we separate into groups for practice of the sentence(s) just modeled. The effects of this writing time has been immensely effective.
But the walk.
Time is precious. A sense of urgency fuels me.
I began to walk backwards, using the time to practice sight words. I have command of their attention and have their brains thinking. We use hands in the air techniques and little chants at times to remember the tricky “heart words”, those words you must know by heart to spell. Thankfully, the first part of the long hallway houses the cafeteria, principal’s office, and front office. I introduce the words and we practice chorally. As we pass individual classrooms, whisper voices are initiated and individual students are called on to answer.
So if you come to Pierceton Elementary, you might see me coming down the hall walking backwards with a group of students learning.