Monday, September 29, 2014



Monday - after work meeting, ballet, football practice, and YoungLife

Tuesday - soccer practice A, football practice, orthodontist appointment, and soccer practice B

Wednesday - football practice and ballet

Thursday - football game and soccer practice

Friday - much awaited guests coming to visit, football practice, soccer game, late dinner out and transmission seems to be acting up on the Suburbabus

Saturday - golf tournament, LAX practice, soccer game, babysitting, necessary part is finally ready for the out of commission Lt. Dan (oldest-one-of-three's car), trip to tire shop to repair flat for the VW, and mini photo session of a local event

Sunday - church, soccer game, grocery stop

Monday - rinse, repeat

About a week or two ago, I was greeted with a push notification on one of the school's iPads - a push notification from the Dictionary App.  Word of the day - Higgledy-Piggledy!  Now, those that know me, know I'm a word junkie and this one struck me on a number of levels.  

1 - I loved the way it looked, so similar and friendly with it's curvy Gs sandwiched in the middle.  It looked plump and happy - comfortable.  

2 - I loved the way it sounded aloud - almost gigglely - somewhat Seussical married to a nursery rhyme.  In fact, when I spoke it, I heard myself chuckle.  I'm all about repetition of sounds and Higgledy-Piggledy hit the proverbial spot!  

3 - I loved the definition - whoa!  Wait a minute - I loved the definition?  Who in their right mind loves when things are in a state of confusion or are jumbled?  Who loves living in a disorderly manner?  Me!  

It hit me right then and there - my life is Higgledy-Piggledy!  What a plump, happy, comfortable, Seussical married to nursery rhyme way to describe my wonderful day to day life.  Because among the higgledy-piggledy day to day life I live, I have the privilege of hearing my little nutter butter read to me in the car as we drive to and fro; I get to watch my healthly and strong kiddos run up and down sports fields while I cheer them along; I get to see the beautiful progress of a child's smile who was once missing an entire tooth and I'm blessed to be able to provide this for her; I get to watch my older two kiddos assist their dad with car repairs and see how they are not only building car knowledge but also lasting memories of time with him.

Higgledy- Piggledy?  You bet!  I'll take it any day of the week!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Standard 5

This time of year I am especially reflective.  At different points this week, I have looked back at the last ten months and asked myself - Did I really make a difference?  Even though I have poured out my best and I'm running on empty, I still think I could have done more. I evaluate - I wonder - I reflect. 

I'm not alone.  In fact, I'm one of over 95,000 just in my home state.  Do we all take this time to look over our shoulders at the past days, weeks, months? Absolutely not.  But the good ones do.  The good ones do it on a daily basis.  The good ones look at what we do and ask the hard question - how can I do this better? How can I make a bigger impact?

Who are we?  We are group of individuals dedicated to trying to make a difference - a difference in the lives of people we may never meet again after our ten month sprint - our students.  We are teachers.

Good teachers take what others may see as ordinary, incorrigible, and even at times, unloveable and we encourage, model, and love. Good teachers look beyond the ordinary and truly believe that each student holds promise.  Do we believe it everyday?  No way.  But then we pause, we take a step back, we reflect, and then we believe again.  

So while most, most outsiders that is, think we are olly olly oxen free because summer break is on the horizon; think again.  We are taking a good hard look at we've accomplished and  also, facing  a head on collision with the goals we didn't. We are looking ahead to how we can make the next year better.  We live Standard 5.   

Standard 5: Teachers reflect on their practice. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My Summer Home

I frequented there often.  My visits would begin in the spring, not long after the temperatures started to rise ever so slightly.  The trees began to bud - leaves sprouting from long limbs that had slept all winter long.  They had had plenty of rest and were ready for action - so was I. 

It wasn't a large home, only one room but it was secluded and absolutely all mine - or so it seemed.  Plain, simple decor but that didn't matter. It's simplicity added to its charm. I'm not sure how long my summer home had been around before my visits began. Maybe 20-30 years.  I never bothered to ask - it didn't matter.  What did matter was that my summer home was a place where I spent hours playing, hidden away from the world - a place to pretend, dream, imagine.  All things that children do because they have absolutely not a care in the world - as it should be.  I miss it.

I especially miss it this time of year because when I look out my bedroom window and into my backyard, I'm reminded - reminded of my sweet summer home.  Reminded, but not saddened.  It brings a smile to my face and happy memories that warm my heart.  Memories of my summer home and special memories of the man the "built" it - James Clebborn or as all knew him, JC.

I'm not sure when he planted the weeping cherry tree, my summer home, that gave me hours of joy as a special hiding place to play.  He often worked in the yard and I can just imagine him standing there determining the exact perfect spot to plant the small tree.  I'm sure he evaluated all options carefully - I'm mean after all, this man got the string and stakes out when plotting a garden.  Those rows had to be straight.  I smile again.

He spent hours in his roses as well - trimming, pruning, powdering.  Too many times to count did we drive up to his house and I'd see him in the side yard where they were planted.  Garden tools and gloves on hand. I smile again.

I knew JC as my paternal grandfather, my papaw as we say in the South; however, he wore many hats.  Gardener, framer, furniture refinisher, father of three boys, insurance salesman who never met a stranger.  

This time of year when I look out my bedroom window and into my backyard at my own little weeping cherry trees, those pink buds remind me of him.  
They remind me of -

my summer home,
his rose garden,
the owl that hung in his garage to mark just the right spot for parking,
the $5 he would slip me and my cousin when she came to visit,
the tools I would play with as I watched him work in his shop,
his insatiable sweet tooth that I have inherited,
trips to the movie theater only to look over a see him snoozing,
his snores in the recliner with an old western playing on the TV,
trips to the mall and having him disappear while we all shop but spotting him later at the ice cream shop,
Louis L'Amour books,
traveling on summer trips and sitting in the front seat between him and my daddy,
the sticky mess he would later find in his pants pocket because he had stuffed jelly packets in there after our breakfast stop on those trips,
cardigan sweaters,
the long rock wall that lined his driveway that served as a balance beam at times - built by his own hands,
the matching fireplace in the backyard,
a family man,
I smile again, and again, and again...

Not more than probably 7 feet tall, my summer home was the perfect height for my vertically challenged stature. As I entered the one and only room, its long draping and skinny brown limbs and dark slender leaves became my walls that hid me away and left me to my imagination. It's funny, I don't really even remember the blooms - the very thing that now takes me back to those carefree days, but I'm sure they were there.  The blooms that remind me of him.

Happy memories that warm my heart. I'm reminded, but not saddened. He was a wonderful part of my carefree world - I miss him.  I smile, still.