Monthly Archives: December 2011

santa is for real

Christmas has come and gone. The tree is looking more pathetic by the day. The  boys fear respect of the “Naughty or Nice hotline” is quickly forgotten.

At 6 and 4 Bubba and Dude are at the perfect age for Christmas magic. They believed in Santa and were rewarded for that belief.  It has been a long time since Santa was real for me.

This year, however, my belief in Santa was reshaped and renewed.  Santa was real in a different way. My boys, in all their craziness, showed me that Santa can be in every one of us.  This has been a tough year for many people in our community. I like to complain about how strapped we are financially but I know we are pretty lucky.  Hubs and I both have good jobs, a house (actually 2 if you want to buy one), and we always know we will have food on the table (even if it is ramen).

Our church had several Angel trees this year (I think a lot of churches do this but if you aren’t familiar- ornaments with specific needs are put on a tree, people pick an ornament and buy the items, wrap them and bring them back to the church for distribution).  Every week for 3 weeks, Hubs and I walked past the trees thinking we couldn’t afford to help out this year.  But the week before the gifts were due back with the trees still very full, Bubba and Dude were insistent that they each get to pick an ornament and buy presents for kids in need.  They even offered up their own money. They were not prompted or coerced by anyone.  Our boys saw a need and wanted to fill it.  They wanted to give a gift. They wanted to show love to others.  To me, that is what Santa is.  By the way… we did pick a couple of ornaments to fill and they boys had a great time shopping and wrapping for what they called their secret Santa gifts.

We were also recipients of the magic of Santa. A friend wanted to offer that magic to our kids.  She filled their wish list in ways we would not have been able to this year.  We are so grateful for her generosity.  Santa was real this year.

A friend (I am sorry but i don’t remember who) posted on Facebook a few days before Christmas “so what if you don’t get what you want for Christmas- it’s not your birthday anyway.”  What a powerful statement. We are celebrating Jesus’ birthday. We give gifts in honor of the greatest gift ever given.

I pray that my kids continue to grow into Godly men.  I pray they continue to give with a joyful spirit.  I pray they remember and honor they greatest gift.  Santa was real this year in ways that a red suit and reindeer don’t justify.  This year was the best Christmas I can remember.

How was your Christmas?

 

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not so crafty casey

I am not crafty.  I don’t like making things.  Every attempt I have at being cutesy and crafty turns into a really bad third grade art project.  I hate glue.  I hate scrapbooks.  I hate putting buttons and ribbon on felt to make something cute.

I feel guilty about this.  Bubba and Dude don’t have cute baby books (and I will pay for their therapy one day).  Aren’t 30-something moms supposed to be into cute and crafty and creative things?  I would rather watch sports center with the hubs than go to a scrapbooking party.

Here is the problem.  I just watched an infomercial (gotta love Christmas break!) for the Cricut personal cutting machine.  I watched it for 15 minutes.  I was mesmerized.  What is wrong with me?

Then I went the website and looked for another 15 minutes.  My boys have torn their room apart while I am hypnotized by a craft thing.  It is amazing.  I want want want it!

Someone please help me!  Remind me that I burn myself with a glue gun every time I look at it.  Remind me that I am not an attention to detail person.  Remind me that I would rather solve complex math problems than arrange pictures on a paper with cute captions.  I don’t need a craft machine!!

But man, it is cool.  Do you have one?  Do you use it?

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Conversation with Bubba

Just hanging out in the backyard with Bubba this afternoon and he asked me an interesting question.
Bubba:  have you ever seen Jesus? Like in real life… Not just the Bible or church.
Me: well I havent ever SEEN Jesus but I have seen what he does and how he has changed the world.
B: yeah but have you ever actually seen HIM?
M: well no because Jesus is in Heaven.
B: you know who so lucky?
M: who is that?
B: my sister, Sarah.
M: why is that?
B: because she is in heaven, too. And she probably gets to hang out with Jesus everyday.
M: that is pretty cool, isn’t it? She is lucky.

My kids amaze me.  Bubba is wise beyond his years.  The fact that he is thinking about and wanting to hang out with Jesus is pretty cool. I am also so proud of Bubba and his awesome perspective on his sisters death. It has taken me a long time to gain that perspective.

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where i am at

Last year I wrote a post about hitting my stride in a small town.  Things are still going great.  Money sucks but we are happy.  The hubs and I love our jobs.  The boys are amazing. I feel so blessed.

But I didn’t start this year quite so content.  I was moved from teaching at risk high school students last year (which i loved) to regular ed 8th grade.  I wasn’t excited about moving schools again and starting all over. I didn’t want to learn another set of building expectations, another set of grade level/content expectations, another way of doing things with another group of people, another set of administrators.  I had heard good things about my new building but I just didn’t want to start over and be the new guy, again.

Now halfway through the year, I am so glad I moved.  I can’t express my relief.  I work with some really awesome teachers and a fantastic librarian.  These teachers all want to be on committees.  They want to implement new things.  They want to go above and beyond every time to do what is best for kids in everything.

I think this is true in my current building because we have a phenomenal administrative team and central office support.  They make us feel valued.  They support us in just about every way.

(at this point i must say a word to my RMS friends… to those of you reading this blog, my friends, I know you all do what is best for kids.  i know you strive to go above and beyond every time.  i know you are phenomenal teachers and leaders.  but i also know that i had some really horrible years where i did not feel that i worked with a complete staff that was a wonderful as some individuals.  i know that the top to bottom support has never been a characteristic of my prior position.  RMS friends, i love you all)

This year I feel like I am even more the teacher I was meant to be.  Even through my struggles to keep up with grading, I am connecting with kids.  This year I have felt more successful with engaging my students than ever.  The homework completion rate for my 8th grade classes is consistently at 80%.  I have had more parents stop me in church, Walmart, the grocery store, at the Y to tell me  that their son loves my class. that their daughter understands math now more than she ever have.  that their kids talk about how their favorite class this year is math.

Yes, I am bragging on myself a bit tonight.  But I am also bragging on my new school, the staff, administration, students and community.  I love my job.  I am so glad the Hubs and I made a huge life change.  I am so glad we took a risk to get out of jobs we were unhappy in order to do and be good at we both love.

Are you happy where you are?  What can you do to change or improve your position?

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hanging of the greens

First I want to start by patting myself on the back… 3 posts in 3 days.  go me!  of course the chapter 4 tests that I need to grade are glaring at me right now but I am going to do my best and ignore them for a while.  maybe they will grade themselves.

Tonight, Hubs, Bubba, Dude and I were the candle lighters at the Hanging of the Greens service at church.  I have never heard of such a service as I have never been Baptist before (maybe this isn’t a Baptist thing but I am pretty sure the Presbyterians don’t do it unless I just skipped out on it 10 years in a row).  Anyway this is the “official decorating of the sanctuary for the Christmas season” (at least that is what someone told us) but I am bit confused because the church was pretty decked out before the service.  Anyway… lots of carols were sung and some decorations were added and a narrator said some stuff about advent and Christmas trees.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t really have a clue what went on outside of a few songs.  Here’s why…  Apparently Hubs and I have not been good at “parenting in the pews’ because our boys acted like they had no idea how to be in church.

Bubba, being in kindergarten got to get up on stage and sing a song with the children’s choir.  It was very cute except he was that kid.  you know the one that doesn’t really sing.  He was tapping on the mic to “make sure it was on” and was ninja fighting with another kid (but the other kid started it is his story).

As we were walking up as family to light the advent candle, Dude suddenly remembered that “WE DIDN’T HAVE DESSERT TONIGHT!!”  I am pretty sure everyone in Vernon County now knows that we didn’t have dessert tonight.

Part of the service involved everyone getting to put an ornament on the trees in the sanctuary.  the ushers released the rows 1 at a time.  Bubba, anxiously awaiting his turn to pick an ornament and hang it, complained loudly that “only the old people are getting called on to go up!”  Dude of course then began pointing out all the old people in the congregation.

God bless the little children.  I am pretty sure we won’t be asked back.

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All I want for Christmas

imageA few days ago Bubba wrote out his list for Santa.
On his list (this is my interpretation of what he wrote and described to me- there may be errors):
*Wii
*DS (originally this was a 3DS but after discussing with his friends he believes it would be better go with a DSi thus the 3D is scratched out.
*a train set
*legos
*legos books
*Kansas City Royals poster
*St. Louis Cardinals poster (although he added this only after I told him Santa might be a Cardinals fan since they did win the world series)
*$66 (and cents, too)
*Cars 2 the movie
*Rio the movie
*the black angry bird stuffed animal (the boy is obsessed with angry birds)
*Ginger bread boy (I have no clue what this is so if anyone could help me out here that would be great)
*KC Calendar is squeezed in at the bottom

He ends the list with a bit of sucking up to Santa “I like Sant(a.)  Sant(a) like(s) Henry”   Attached to the list (but not pictured) is the Naughty and Nice report from the Campbell house (Dude is on the Naughty list but Bubba is on the nice list. this is probably an accurate list).

Dude has not made his list for Santa this year.  He just YELLS at EVERY. SINGLE. COMMERCIAL. on TV that he wants that item.  I am pretty sure Santa can hear him at the North Pole so there is no need to write anything down.

Hubs says he wants books for Christmas.  This really means he wants gift cards so he can pick out his own books for Christmas because we (my family and I) always strike out when buying him books.  He has also mentioned workout clothes.  This is a desperate need and probably what he will be getting from me. All of his t-shirts are gross-stained and torn gross.  Currently he has 2 pairs of running pants- one pair that looks like he had a 7th grade growth spurt since buying them.  The other has a hole that he stapled (he took the stapler off the desk and stapled his pants like a stack of papers) back together after ripping them when he was trying to jump a fence and show off for the boys. (it took me about 5 tries to type that last sentence without laughing at the image)

This has me thinking about my Christmas list.  If Santa is real and listening I promise I have been a good girl.  I am not asking for much:

*a dishwasher (because my hands are starting to crack from dishwater and honestly… there are better ways to spend my evenings.  even more… the dish drainer takes up too much counter space.)
*a stackable washer and dryer (if i get the dishwasher there would be no place to put it unless we get the washer and dryer out of the kitchen… since there is no place for it to go stacking them would provide enough room to but the dishwasher in.)
*queen size sheets (we only have 1 set and in the last 18 months they have started to wear really thin… there are spots that are threadbare. and santa, if you are going to bring sheets you might as well get the really good ones with a high thread count)
*socks (I wear dress shoes everyday of the week and have only a few pairs socks and most of those are getting pretty holey.

So what do you want for Christmas?

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how old is papa?

Tonight Bubba and I were practicing writing numbers.  As a kindergartner he is pretty advanced in the math area (his momma is a math teacher so i am good with this) and is really interested in adding big numbers.  

Somehow this lead to a discussion about age (i am pretty sure it was when he was adding my age with his age to get the hubs’ age- yeah… that’s pretty awesome if I do say so myself).  He asked how old grandma was and I turned it back around to him (he says she is really old- sorry to my MIL).  Then I asked him how old Papa (my dad) is and I got the best response ever.

Bubba told me that Papa is as old as his tongue and a little older than his teeth.  My dad told him that sometime during the Thanksgiving weekend and it stuck with Bubba.  He has now clue how old my dad is (I am not sure either but I think is is 59 or maybe its 41).

I remember being young and asking my Papa (my dad’s dad) how old he was.  His response was always “I am as old as my tongue and a little older than my teeth.”  I am pretty sure I didn’t “get” that until about a year ago.  Bubba probably doesn’t get it either but at least he knows how old Papa is.

 

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