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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Measuring Success

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I volunteer at a school in Normandy, doing literacy activities with struggling second and third graders. 
I leave each day with way more than I have given. 
It's hard to explain but maybe this will help.

 I work in a small alcove in the second grade hallway.  Today,  as I worked with my first student of the morning I noticed one of my other students, B., as he walked into his classroom.   He was late and the slope of his shoulders and the lag in his step told me that he was not ok.  
Twenty minutes later it was time to see B..   His teacher, not at all pleased, told me that B. was behind in his work and asked if I could finish a workbook page with him rather than do our literacy activity.   
B. and I walked out of the room, workbook in B's gloomy hand.  
As the door closed behind us he said " Sorry, but we're not gonna have a good time today, it's just a terrible day." 
 I let him know that terrible days can be turned around. 
"Impossible" he mumbled.  
"My daddy told me to wake him up at 9 oh oh.  And I did.  But he said he needed more sleep.  So I let him.  Then he woke up and it wasn't 9 oh oh and he was late for work and now he's really mad at me.  And the only way you can make this day ok is if you know how to make my daddy forget that happened because he's so mad at me".  
 I stopped and knelt down and  said, "Your daddy loves you more than anything and sometimes when a parent gets mad they lose their temper.  But your daddy loves you." 
He shook his head.
I swallowed hard.
"How about we work hard to get your workbook finished and then we'll have time for the Piggie and Elephant book I brought".  
Right now, Piggie and Elephant are just about perfect in B.'s mind.  A few weeks ago I introduced the series to him and now he knows what it feels like to LOVE a book.
He shrugged,  "Ok"
We got through the workbook page, which was at least one year ahead of his current ability and 
so very dull.  
But we did it!  
We finished with enough time for Piggie and Elephant!
As we read the book, in the midst of knee slapping laughter,  B. looked at me and said,
"I feel so happy!!".
 I  returned B. to his classroom, completed workbook in one hand, new Piggie and Elephant book in the other.  We walked through the door with our shoulders high and a spring in our step. 
In 20 minutes we did the impossible.
And as I closed the classroom door I thought,
I feel so happy.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

My $45 Nap

 There is a theatre near our house which has reclining seats and a Coke Freestyle machine.  
Which means SODA! and a movie and comfy seats and makes it a complete treat in our minds.
 Lucy, Emma and I were excited to go this afternoon even if it was just to see Hotel Transylvania 2...and we hadn't even see 1.  
Emma carefully chose excellent seats for us, we collected our movie snacks and settled into those glorious reclining seats.  Lucy got out a fleece blanket she'd brought along and covered the two of us up, nice and cozy.  The movie began and I promptly fell asleep.  
An afternoon nap and two happy kids.  
This is what we call a win.    

Look at these kids!  This was in New York City in July of 2014 and they all look so little to me. I feel like we just returned from that trip.  But no, we are actually over a year beyond this place! And this school year seems to be traveling at warp speed!  It's already mid-October which means we had parent-teacher conferences this week.    I left each conference so grateful for my girls.  They are smart and strong and such very good people.  All three just the same and different in the same moment.  Blessings!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

She was shocked

Just shocked, when Rick Riordan shared last night that 40% of adults don't even read 1 book a year. 

Wouldn't it be fun to have to read good books again?!   To be given actual TIME to do it?    I  started this book earlier in the week.  Christy has been asking me to read it for a very long time and  I really don't know what has taken me so long.  I'm not very far along but oh boy, this is a good one.  I've already cried and gasped and furiously written down these lines...

"If there is a fundamental challenge within these stories, it is simply to change our lurking suspicion that some lives matter less than other lives."

"I knew that the poor has some privileged delivery system for giving me access to the gospel.  Naturally, I wanted to be around this."

Excuse me while I try to keep my eyes open long enough to read a few more pages!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

October 1

October is one of my favorite months! 
 I love everything about it!  Hooray!  Yippee!  Wahooo!

The last week of September was also a winner.

On Saturday I visited the St. Louis IKEA!  I had a preview pass so Christy and I braved it.  It was the calmest IKEA trip EVER!  We talked about religion and other important life topics, seriously, it was that laid back.

While I did not come home with one of these lamps trust me,  I'm scoping out a spot.

We sent this girl away to 6th grade camp and honestly we're all feeling like Teddy looks about having her away.  

Still running.

I've painted all of the girls' rooms and did a major clean out while I was at it.  I have a blister and paint in my hair to prove it.  The older girls are redecorating this weekend.  New bedding, rug,  and so on.  They had planned to get new loft beds but Eleanor is reconsidering.  She is realizing the beauty of a nice, simple, clean room.  

And for the first time in 6 years, September 30th came and went and I didn't cry.  In fact, I didn't realize until today that yesterday was the anniversary of losing our Gussy Boy.   

Still miss you, Buddy!