Friday, September 23, 2011

One of those days…


In education, as in any profession, there are good days and there are, well, challenging days.  There are days when, no matter how carefully one has prepared or how well-trained one is, things go wrong.  Today was one of those days.  Let me say, though, that I still love my job.  I think the challenges keep things interesting.  I am still absolutely, unequivocally certain that I am right where the Lord wants me. 

The keys to staying grounded while working in Special Ed. are faith, a sense of humor, and the ability to not take the students’ behavior personally.  When kids with special needs get upset, there are a whole list of things that they are capable of doing.  Some are not so pretty.  It takes a thick skin and quick reflexes.  Like I said, it keeps things interesting.

In the real world—the world outside the confines of the classroom and the relative safety of the school—the same rules apply.  Stay faithful, have a sense of humor, and try not to take things too personally.  Today, when driving towards the middle school to pick up my best friend’s daughter, I was challenged in my outlook.  I pass through several school zones on the way home.  I always, always drive 20 miles an hour through them.  I have kids of my own—I don’t mess with that.  Unfortunately, this—ahem—incensed the driver behind me, a man of advanced years.  He honked at me.  He attempted to tailgate me.  Then, he drove up beside me and mouthed a heavy duty profanity at me. 

Where’s my sense of humor?   Gone. 

I honked back, loud and long.  How dare he!  Old man no likey.  He flipped me off!  Wow.  Low class.  I was hot.  A long stream of curses swirled through my brain, followed by the keen awareness that a Concealed Handgun License might not be a good idea for someone with my temperament.  Hmmmm…things to ponder….

Later, I thought about this incident.  I was thinking of the coarse words and gestures he’d used.  I became angry and immediately thought, I’m supposed to pray for that guy!  He’s an enemy of mine, and I’m supposed to pray for him!  Yuck!  Then, I thought, hold up:  I was an enemy of God.  Jesus died for me, despite the fact that I was an enemy of His.  He died for the old guy, too.  It’s funny how the heat of anger can intensify the realization of forgiveness.  Something we know, really know, can have a new significance in the wake of intense emotion.  Like death.  Or birth. 

Do I wanna hang out with Captain Curse-Word?  Oh, heck no.  But, I did pray for him.

Many blessings,


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Embroidery Fun!

Since the weather has been cooler here in the No. Texas area, Jesse and Lily are in need of jackets in the mornings.  Typically, fall in Texas means dressing in layers so that the kids can shed the extra layers in the warm afternoons.  I picked up a couple of warm-up jackets at Target for $12 each, on sale.  Jesse's is black and Lily's is turquoise.  I decided I'd embellish them with embroidery to jazz them up a bit, and make them more fun.  Jesse hasn't decided whether or not he wants me to put anything on his jacket. :(  Lily, though, was game. 
Here’s the before:

I decided to do an embroidery font called Vintage Curlz.  I had some turquoise camo fabric that I laid over the jacket and hooped the two together.
Crafts Sept 2011 006
It’s hard to see in the pictures that follow, but the thread I used to embroider the “L” is a hot pink, which is Lily’s favorite color.
Crafts Sept 2011 009
I cut away the excess camo fabric, and here is the result:
Crafts Sept 2011 010
Lily is asleep right now, or I’d post a picture of my sweet girl modeling her embellished jacket.  Actually, now that I’m looking at the pictures, I think that it would be a lot of fun to add some rhinestones, as well.  Hmmm…I didn’t think of that!  Sounds like a trip to the craft store is in my near future…

On a side note—I love my new job!  I am so thankful and look forward to going to work every day.  It is challenging, but I like that each day holds new surprises, even if those surprises aren’t easy.  Also, I am reading a new book called The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.  It is beautiful and mysterious, and makes me want to go to a circus that opens only at night.  I downloaded it on my iPad Friday night, and am almost finished!  I highly recommend it.

Many blessings,

P.S. I'm participating at Metamorphosis Monday at Susan's blog.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Soakin' Up the Love

Brian's parents, Jerry and Marilyn, are here from Del Rio, Texas.  They are visiting for the weekend.  As you can see, Lily is enjoying spending time with her Pa.  Presently, she is showing him the movie Princess and the Frog on her daddy's iPhone.  I heard her telling Jerry, "You wanna see the part where Tiana's a little girl?"  He's been so sweet; he just listens very patiently while she talks his ear off.  Lily is his first and only granddaughter.  He gets a kick out of her.

When Brian's parent's come, he always takes his mom out shopping.  Marilyn loves to shop, and Brian loves to make his mom happy. :)  Lily and Matthew accompanied them on their adventures.  Jesse hung out with Pa at our house, while I rode with Jacob for a practice run to the DMV.  Jacob takes his driving exam on Thursday, and since Brian and I can't take off from our new jobs, our friend, Pastor Wally is going to pick Jacob up from school and go with him to the DMV.  Jacob practiced parallel parking today, and he got it on the first try.  I know he is going to do well on his test.  I wish I could be with him when he goes, but Brian and I are so thankful for our friend's willingness to take him for us. 

After Jake practiced parking, I had him drive us over to the convenience store to get me a Big Red and a candy bar.  It's pretty awesome having a teenager to drive me places and buy me stuff.  He took me over to a store called U.S. Toys, where I bought some little toys to use as incentives for the children in my classroom.  I found some good deals on puzzles and things.  Jacob tried on crazy hats in the costume section and I laughed so hard that I was crying.  I like the young man that he is becoming.  He's a pretty awesome guy.

Speaking of awesome guys, Brian and his mom are cute together.  Here they are, with Brian showing Marilyn their family tree on  He has the app on his iPad, and they've been 'building' their family tree.  Marilyn is journeying down memory lane right now.

They're going to church with us in the morning.  They'll head up to Arkansas on Monday morning to visit friends and go to Marilyn's class reunion.  It's been a great visit, and the kids are enjoying having Gran and Pa here.  I have a feeling they'll miss them when they leave.

Truth be told, I think Gran and Pa will miss the grandkids, too.

Many blessings,