Saturday, February 28, 2009


One thing that I really like to do right before bed while I am praying is to thank God for all of my blessings. I have so much in my life to be thankful for, my husband, my family, my health, my home, my job, and many many more.
My job is amazing, and I am so blessed to be a teacher. I teach 5th and 6th grade at a private Christian school in the inner city. I know private and inner city don't seem to go together, but we are set up on the worst side of town for a reason. Our school provides full scholarships for 95% of the students, because otherwise their families would not be able to afford to come. Here is some insight to where I work everyday:
We are a block from the worst street in the city
We are 2 blocks from the projects
Our area of town is rampant with drugs, alcohol, and spousal abuse
Many of my students parents don't speak any English
Many of my students parents never graduated high school
Many of my students parents work 2 or 3 jobs just to make ends meet

At our school, many of kids have at least one parent or uncle in jail. Or they don't know where their parents are so they live with Grandma and Grandpa. Some days, my kids come into my classroom with a chip on their shoulder because their mother would not unlock the door for them to come into the house until 8p.m. Some days while I watch the news I see there was another drive by on the side of town where I work, and I pray it was not someone from one of my student's families like it was last time. Sometimes my students come to school scared because they just spent the night in a shelter to get away from their abusive father. But.......
when the get to school, things change.
They get a free breakfast, and lunch, so they know they will not go hungry.
They see the lights on, so they know the power was not cut like at their home.
And for a few hours a day, they know that they will be loved and safe.

As I sat there yesterday and watched my kids work, I was once again reminded how grateful I was for my job. Yes, I could find a job teaching that was not 45 minutes from my house. Yes, I could find a job that pays me a lot more money. Yes, I could find a job that required less of me. But would it be just as fulfilling? No.
One thing that amazes me about my sweet kids is that despite everything, they manage to show up everyday. Plus, they give me 100% everyday, because they know that I will accept nothing less, and neither will any other teacher.
I get so excited at this time of year because the kids are in the final push of school. Next year, the 6th graders will become middle school kids who enter our college prep middle/high school. Every kid that graduates leaves school with 16 hours of college credit!! Every kids that has graduated from our school has gone to college!!! We are working to get these kids out of this area, arm them with faith, hope, and knowledge, so that they will one day come back, and transform our side of town.
Yes, I am grateful for my job.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


(This is not me!!!)
I have started to do yoga this week. I have never done yoga, and all I know about yoga is what I have seen from the movies. (Think 27 Dress yoga scene, and that is it).

My reaction after my 1st 2 classes, it is hard. I thought yoga was about relaxing and stretching, well that is part of it, however there are some really hard poses. The instructor explains that some of the poses are supposed to help build muscle and I have had some muscle fatigue the day after each class. That is one of the reasons that I am going. I want to add to my regular work out and do something that is good for both body and mind.

While I don't understand everything and I am not very good, I think I will keep taking classes.

There are some things that make me want to laugh, like the closing statement "The light in me honors the light in you" and things like that are a little funny, but I can sit there and respect the time and practice for others.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

So much fun

This evenings was one of the funnest nights I have had in a really long time. My husband and I are at my parents house for the weekend. Earlier this evening they were gone, and my husband, P, and I took the dogs for a walk at dusk. My parents live in South Texas, and the sunsets here are absolutely beautiful. After taking the dogs for a walk, P hopped on the bike and went for a ride up and down the street. Then he asked me the question....."Do you want a pump?" Of course I do. So I hopped on the handle bars of the bike and away we rode. It was so much fun.
I felt like I was in 8Th grade all over again. We rode up and down the street and around the block a few times, and instantly, I was no longer a 27 year old wife. I was a 12 year old girl, praying for the sun to stay up a few minutes longer so I could play with my friends. I was transported to a different time, a different place, a different me. I was suddenly looking around the neighborhood through different eyes and I was seeing a place that was so loving, familiar, and safe. I saw the neighborhood through young eyes, naive eyes, eyes of a girl that I used to be. A girl who was not concerned with the clothes on her back, how her hair looked, or what was going on in the world. I was a girl who wanted to play. A girl who wanted to run so fast, and so long, and only stopped because her lungs were burning and she was gasping for air, smiling with sheer delight. Riding around the block I recounted to P all of the places where my friends and I played touch football, or roller blade hockey in the summer. I remembered watching the fire works from the neighbors yard, and everyone bringing snacks to share and spend time together.
As I sit here hours later, I still bask in the glow of my ride down memory lane. I think about who I am now and who I was then. I think about all of the friends I knew, and the ones I lost. I think about the lessons learned the hard way. I think and at times pine for that life again. A time when all was well, and everything was simple. A time when all I cared about was having fun with my friends. I think about the hours I spent pining over the boy down the street. I think about all the scrapped knees my mom mended with a band aid and a kiss. I think about my knobby knees, my aching feet, my frizzy hair, and my innocent and untarnished outlook on life, when I thought the world was safe, and we all loved each other.
It was totally refreshing to be that girl again, even if just for a moment. To remember what is was like and to hopefully hold on to a little of her optimism, hope, and joy.
So to that sweet, awkward, silly, clumsy, tomboy of a girl, I want to say hi. I want to say I miss you. I want to remember you, and hold on to you. There are so many things about you that I love and miss. I promise I wont forget you. And, I will try to visit more often!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I really like to organize. When you take something that is cluttered and out of sorts, and give everything a place, it feels so good. I am an elementary teacher, and as a teacher I have a lot of "stuff." There are a ton of small odds and ends that I have floating around my room all of the time. I have found that the best way to store these things is small baskets. Everything has a place in a shelf or in the closet.
If you have ever been around kids, you know they are not very organized, it is something that must be taught. Every Friday, my class and I do a classroom clean out. First we clean out the room and the desks. Then each student cleans out their backpack and throw out all of the junk that makes it in each week. Then we wipe down the desks, pick up trash, and wipe the boards down. It takes about 30 minutes each week, but it pays major divedends. First, the kids learn how to clean and organize their things. Second, the room is less cluttered which makes it a more peaceful environment. Finally, it sets the tone for the next week. The kids come in and everything is in its place, and ready for them on Monday.
That is the same way I feel about my home. When everything is in place, and put away, the house feels more peaceful and calm. At times, the clutter seems to make the house scream and become so much more loud. But, when things are clean and put away, it seems like we are at peace and rest is much easier to achieve.
I like to organize!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I am trying to learn how to sew. This is a challenge for me because I am not, I repeat not creative at all. I cannot draw, paint, or even color very well. I am very type A. I like simple, organized, and orderly. So, learning to sew is a bit of a challenge for me. I am trying to learn so that I can mend clothes for a homeless shelter.
The only thing I have ever sewn was a pillow from 8th grade home economics. Let me tell you it was a disaster. UHHH. But, I decided I will give it another try. I told my mom that I wanted to learn to sew and she got me a new sewing machine for my birthday. My mother is a master seamstress. She made some of my prom dresses in high school. (Her claim to fame is that she won 1st place in the state sewing competition. She made a jacket with a silk lining... yea she is good).I have learned how to thread my machine, and that is all! It is sitting on a shelf waiting for me to take her down, and sew. It is a little intimidating for someone who is not creative and who's one experience with sewing did not turn out well. But, alas, I shall try again!!! I am not going to let this stop me from trying and conquering. I mean, millions of women throughout history have sewn for their families. I should be able to do this. I must learn to do this. So this weekend, my mission is clear. Thread the machine, put in fabric, and put the medal to the metal, (metaphorically speaking).
Wish me luck!!!