Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Music Teacher's Greatest Joy

I taught my fifth graders an activity yesterday. At the end of class, one of the boys asked if he could borrow my tennis balls if he found enough people to practice the activity between now and their next music class.

Sure enough, as I walked to my car over the lunch hour to go to my other school, I saw a group of fifth graders (boys and girls) bouncing tennis balls to each other on the strong beat while singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

It brings so much joy to my heart to see that my students are taking what they learn in my class and playing those games on their own. It was just what I needed yesterday to see that I am getting through.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

An Interesting Read...(I Imagine)

I recently ran across a link to this book. It appears that finally, someone has found some of the courageous mothers in China who have, for whatever reason, chosen to release their precious babies. Their stories have been collected and put into book form.

Unfortunately, the book won't be released in the US until March. I wanted to put this one out on your radar, because it looks like an incredible read. (The picture is of the Kindle'll have to stay tuned to your favorite book source as time gets closer.)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Power of a Moment

This song by Chris Rice has been going through my head for a few days now:

What am I gonna be when I grow up?
How am I gonna make my mark in history?
And what are they gonna write about me when I’m gone?
These are the questions that shape the way I think about what matters
But I have no guarantee of my next heartbeat
And my world’s too big to make a name for myself
And what if no one wants to read about me when I’m gone?
Seems to me that right now’s the only moment that matters

You know the number of my days
So come paint Your pictures on the canvas in my head
And come write Your wisdom on my heart
And teach me the power of a moment
The power of a moment, the power of a moment

In Your kingdom where the least is greatest
The weak are given strength and fools confound the wise
And forever brushes up against a moment’s time
Leaving impressions and drawing me into what really matters

You know the number of my days
So come paint Your pictures on the canvas in my head
And come write Your wisdom on my heart
And teach me the power of a moment
The power of a moment, the power of a moment

I get so distracted by my bigger schemes
Show me the importance of the simple things
Like a word, a seed, a thorn, a nail
And a cup of cold water

You know the number of my days
So come paint Your pictures on the canvas in my head
And come write Your wisdom on my heart
And teach me the power of a moment
The power of a moment, the power of, the power of, the power of a moment.

I feel that in this new chapter, where I have so little time, I'm finding the power of the little moments God gives me. I no longer have long uninterrupted (or minimally interrupted) blocks of time where I can spend time with God, unwind, take a nap, or otherwise find refreshment. What I have found is that God has given me little moments all along.

At school, where I have minimal plan time, I find that in the 3 minutes between classes I can shoot off a quick email before I forget something. Or I can outline a lesson plan so that all I have to do is type it up later. Or I can whip up a quick visual to print later.

In the car, I have a few minutes where I can call and catch up with friends or family. I no longer have Dayna in the car with me, so my conversations can once more be private.

At home, I may not have a free hour to just play with Dayna, but I might have 10 minutes to crawl into our "covered wagon" and read another chapter to her.

My life is no longer filled with free time, but He has given me moments in my day to find restoration. I know that 30 years from now, this time of stress will be a vague memory to Dayna, but she will always remember our covered wagon!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fine Dining

I took the day off to rest my voice and shake these allergies. I also surprised my sweet girl by showing up at her school for lunch today. It was a great reminder that sometimes I just need to stop and let myself mend physically, mentally and spiritually. Let me tell you, it was nice to walk by a playground and not have 15 students simultaneously yelling, "Mrs. Wilson, Mrs. Wilson!" (Don't get me wrong...I love hearing that at school. But today, I was a mom.) I got to have my picture taken and put on the guest wall of Dayna's classroom, and I got to hear Dayna's class sing me some sweet songs all about their sight words. Let me tell you...lunch with Kindergartners in the cafeteria was fine dining indeed.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Little Home Under the Piano

It doesn't exactly look like fact, it's more like a jungle print fleece blanket thrown over a baby grand piano...

Dayna and I are reading Little House on the Prairie, and she has decided that our little fort should be a covered wagon. Every few paragraphs, she peeks out to look for wolves. Her little stuffed dog is "Jack". Of course, she gets to be "Ma", I'm "Laura" and "Pa" is usually downstairs watching TV or checking his email...we just say that he's off hunting.

Oh, these moments are so sweet!

Monday, September 20, 2010


That was my clock time for the Corporate Cup 10K yesterday. I imagine my chip time will be about 10 minutes faster. Let me tell endurance is gone! 3 miles is tough on me now, and 6.2 yesterday just about did me in.

I have a 5K in two weeks, and then I think I'll be hanging up my shoes for awhile. I just don't have time to run/train and spend time with my family. was fun while it lasted (not really, but I can say I've accomplished a lot this year in my running endeavors.)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Word Aptly Spoken

Things have been pretty discouraging lately. I've been grumpy, and feeling less than successful at any area of my life. Today was one of those days that required an inordinate amount of flexibility. In talking with my new principal about some of the things going on (and trying to keep a positive spin on it all), she shared with me that she's really excited to come in and see what I'm doing in the classroom, because she's heard a lot of really nice things about me from other teachers in the building.

Maybe I'm not doing such a horrible job after all...

New Year, New Study

Hooray for the new year of Bible Study Fellowship and the BRAND NEW BSF study of the book of Isaiah. I'm so excited about my group this year and the opportunity to dig deeper into this book of God's justice and grace.

If you're not familiar with BSF, check out their homepage and a list of classes near you. It's a lot of work, but SO rewarding. This is my 8th year, and it has changed my life!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Something's Got to Give

My little girl is whimpering right now, and I don't blame her. This weekend was so packed...with good things...many of them a thrill any 5-year-old would enjoy. We spent 2 hours at the Kids Against Hunger open house yesterday, where Dayna had the bouncy house pretty much to herself the whole time. Last night, I took her on an errand, where we ended up at Sonic. Afterwards, we came home, popped some popcorn and set up a fort to watch a movie. This afternoon was a picnic for Families with Children from China. . .

Well, life happened this evening, and she really wanted to play house with me. Unfortunately, I only had about 10 minutes to give her. Now bedtime has come (and gone), and we still haven't really just played together. Tomorrow is Monday...the whirlwind starts again.

I'm really trying to make the most of the time we have together, but quality time just isn't enough. I need to be able to have a quantity of time with her as well. I dropped everything a few minutes ago, took my half-dressed daughter (the other half was in pajamas already) for a dusky walk around the block. I tried to have a heart-to-heart with her, but we're both just so sad and strung out missing each other, that we're both in tears.

I keep telling myself that the routines are just now year of Bible Study, new year of Children's Ministry programming...once we get that routine set, it will get easier. It just seems so hard right now, and I need my daughter...dare I say she needs me, too?

I don't know where I'm going with this, but I'm signing off, crawling in bed with Dayna, and reading her a story...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Just When I'm Feeling the Routine...

Finally! Week 5 of working full-time (week 4 with students) and I'm finally fitting into a groove. At my new school, I finally feel like 3 of my grade levels and I are starting to figure out how we all work together. I'm starting to see small successes with my new students, I'm not feeling quite so crabby and "fly by the seat of my pants." Classroom routines are working and I've finally made sense of our new online grading system.

Things are humming along, and I'm finally beginning to feel like I can do this. It's going to be okay.

Then I walk into my portable and discover that sometime in the 5 days since I've been at that school, my laptop was stolen. The good news is that I'm not liable, since it was taken from school property. But...all of my CDs were loaded into iTunes; a lot of my chapter's information was on the hard lesson plans, my power point presentations...

I know this is not the end of the world, but it certainly put a wrinkle in my week that was very, very hard to shake. Crabby Mrs. Wilson came back, and it was generally a really crummy last two days of the week.

Cars and computers...necessary evils. *sigh*