Monday, May 28, 2012

My Little Swimmer

For anyone that knows Ella, they also know that swimming is something she has struggled with.  This time last year, she was content with barely putting her face in the water.  This year, on the other hand, is a whole other ball game.  She has been so persistent in learning how to swim this summer and it has paid off! 

Just a week ago, we went over to swim with the Beckett's.  It took Ella quite a while to warm up to the water.  By the time we were packing up to head home, she had managed to learn from Brayden how to jump in off the side of the pool with her swimmies on.  She was so comfortable with the water and didn't mind it getting in her face at all.
We also bought a family size pool for our backyard which we have been using nonstop.  Ella has learned how to float on her back, hold her breath for 14 seconds, and even swim underwater!  This is a huge milestone for her and she is so very proud of herself!  We leave for vacation on Sunday, so Kermie and I are anxious to see how her swimming skills transfer over to pools of greater depth! 
Until then.... YAY ELLA! :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

What a Ham!

This little guy brings me so much joy I can barely contain it!  He can be the sweetest, meanest, and funniest one year old all within a 5 minute span! 

Just the other night, we had a notary over to the house to watch us sign papers for our refinance.  The guy was talking to the kids and Grayson was loving the attention.  Here was how the conversation went:

Me:  "Can you tell him your name?  What is your name?"

Grayson (with a huge grin on his face):  "Poop!"

And, the whole table couldn't control the laughter!  This little guy is totally obessed with the word poop.  He fits it in to just about every other sentence now a days.  Lord help us all!

Today, we were at the mall and I was trying on bathing suits.  Grayson and Kermie were walking behind me and Grayson goes up to a rack full of bathing suits.  He pulls one of the tops off (keep in mind that it looks just like a bra) and proceeds with, "BOOBIES!" 

What a ham!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lack of Faith?

Today was my official first day of summer break 2012!  And, boy was and is it a great one!  I took the kids with me to school this morning to lock up my cabinets and such and then headed off to swim with my friend Ashley and her precious boys.  All of the kiddos had a blast and both of my children are fast asleep, which makes me even more thankful!  I will get at least 2 hours of peace and quiet on this very first day of summer break! 

As I sat down to figure out what to do with myself for two hours, I realized I had not blogged in over a month and haven't really mentioned anything about my interesting school year.  So, what better time than now? 

To make a long story short, this year has been a difficult one for me in many ways.  Teaching, as I've mentioned many times before, is something I LOVE doing!  I enjoy it and have a passion for reaching out to my students beyond just the academics.  More than anything, I want my kiddos to understand how to be successful citizens with morals and integrity.  Achieving this goal has been difficult this year to say the least.  I was handed a very unique class!  They were made up of some of the sweetest, most genuine, helpful, artistic, intelligent kids (which I thanked God for each day!), and then there were others that I knew would be a challenge to reach.  More than anything, I never want any one child to take my attention away from the group as a whole and this was extremely hard.  Several of my kids needed that extra attention and I found it so hard to balance.  This year I found myself upset and flustered more than ever before.  I felt defeated and at times a total failure.  I am so extremely blessed to be married to my husband because without him, I know I would have turned into a total basket case! For me, my students are my own children when they are with me and not being able to steer them in the right direction totally destroys me.  I know this is something I need to learn to overcome as I will never be able to reach all of my students in this way, but boy.... it truly kills me! 

On top of my struggles in the classroom, I also had to deal with the fact that my very own daughter would be entering with world of public education this upcoming fall as well.  So, every time I was faced with situations like a student bullying another, a child hitting another, a child begging to be put somewhere else in my class so they could concentrate, a child screaming at another, and the list goes on and on,  I became fearful of what I would be exposing my own children to.

We know that the outcasts and misfits are the children most likely to become violent, so it only follows that we must pull them into the arms of love and/or acceptance, and find a place where they fit. If our system doesn't have a place where a child fits, there's something wrong with the system, not the child.  WILLIAM G. DEFOORE

I truly feel that God wants me to teach those children who are less fortunate than others, who are angry because of situations at home, and who struggle to know the difference between right and wrong, but at the same time I don't know that I want my own children to be exposed to that day in and day out.   Being a teacher and a mother can be hard at times!  I have looked forward to the day when my kids would be with me all day!  But, as the time draws near, I realize that might mean they are going to learn lots of new and ugly things about the world they live in.  I know that our sole purpose on Earth is to be a witness to the others around us.  I know that we are supposed to welcome in the sinner, the hurting, and the weary (I fall into that category myself.).  So, sheilding my children from those things and not allowing them the opporutnity to witness is not an option.  But as a mom, I find it so difficult to place the burden of being the "role model" on my own child.  With the population of students at my school, you are guaranteed to have children who will throw chairs, fight, etc.  I also know that school-aged children are very impressionable!  Ella is a great girl with a great heart and I want her to be one of the kids in her class who others can look up to, confide in, and respect.  I also know that she will be exposed to things that I do not necessarily agree with which terrifies me!  I also know that I fell into peer pressure which led to smoking, drugs, drinking... you name it... I did it!  I also  know that she is only going to kindergarten and most of this stuff is years away!  However, I can't shake the fact that she only has her childhood once and it is my job to make sure she makes it through.  Faith.... faith is where I'm lacking. 

The more we shelter children from every disappointment, the more devastating future disappointments will be.  FRED G. GOSMAN

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.  Proverbs 22:6

As I'm writing this, I totally see my problem...  a lack of faith.  I lack faith in God to work through me to reach my troubled students.  I lack faith in God to continue to work on those students who are hard to reach.  I lack faith in God to help me raise my children with morals that do not break.  I lack faith in God to live within the hearts of my children so they may always know He is there.  I lack faith in myself to know that I can be a living testimony to my students.  I lack faith in my own children for thinking I need to control everything in order for them to be who God intends them to be.  Geez.....

So, maybe the difficulty this year didn't lie soley on the troubles around me, but on the lack of faith within me.  I pray that God will forgive me for this lack of faith and restore the faith I once had.