Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Looking Through Windows

Ahh, spring. Throw open the windows and welcome the breezes that make the curtains float! It's that time of year where I feel like I need to "spring clean" to freshen up things that have been neglected a little too long. :) 

I've been trying to figure out where to begin with the cleaning I wanted to get done. I can kind of overwhelm myself thinking about all I want to get done but I had to begin somewhere.

Today I decided to begin with the living room windows. I don't usually begin with windows but it's always good to shake things up, right? Annah helped me get the curtains down to get them washed and then I began cleaning the blinds. First I dusted them and then I washed each slat, one by one. I was a little astonished at how dirty my water began to get as I cleaned! As I continued slat by slat I was glancing out the window and I began to notice how dirty my windows were and I wonder how I didn't notice that much sooner. I actually felt a little embarrassed that they had gotten as dirty as they were! As I thought about that I was reminded of this 2 minute video that I saw a while back called, "Looking Through Windows". 

While I continued to clean I began to think about that video and the fact that in the past two months I have received 2 letters from two people that I have known for a long time. Without the details, both of these people had not treated me very well in two separate incidences and both of them had done a lot of soul searching and felt the need to apologize to me and ask for my forgiveness. One incident happened about 6 months ago and the other happened 5 years ago. 

What a wonderful example this is to me of being able to be humble and ask forgiveness when we realize our behavior has not been very Christlike. I am grateful for the example of these two good women who have reached out seeking forgiveness that I was more than happy to give. 

Yeah, all that from my dirty living room windows. I think I should begin with my windows more often. :)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Jacob and Mozart

Several weeks ago I happened on this picture of Jacob back when he was younger and took piano lessons. I discovered the picture in a notebook of music that he had from that time. I was so glad that I took the time to look through the notebook before I pitched it because I would have gotten rid of an awesome picture of Jacob!

When Jacob came for Easter dinner we showed him the picture and he immediately said it reminded him of the picture of Mozart as a child. I didn't recall the picture so he pulled up the image from the internet to show me....

Yup, Mozart indeed! :)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Am I Smarter Than a 1st Grader?

In February I began working at an elementary school as an assistant to a teacher who is called a Behavior Coach. She works in a program called PASS which stands for Positive Association for Student Success. We work with kids who have behavior issues to redirect their behaviors in a positive way. I tell people that every day my job is to be on a peace keeping mission. :)  

Last week the teacher I work with was not there. She had planned for a sub but the job was not picked up by anyone so I was on my own. It's usually a big job for both of us and now with her gone and no sub to help it was an even bigger job for just me. The day actually didn't go too badly. I did have one student who had to come into the PASS room to just chill for a while and get their behavior under control. 

When a student comes in for a negative reason it is typical that they stay in an area on their own to regroup and then when that is accomplished we talk with them about the behaviors that made it necessary for them to be in the PASS room and how they can make different choices next time. During their settling down time you have to be able to see them but you also don't want to just sit there looking at them and giving them attention as that usually just prolongs their negative behavior. So, it is important to have something to do so that you don't need to look directly at them or interact with them but they know that you are still sitting right there waiting for them to get it together.

The day I was handling PASS by myself and had a student in the room I had to find something to busy myself. I was sitting at the teacher's desk and looked around at what I might be able to do, avoiding eye contact with the student. Nothing was obvious to me but the computer. I thought, "Oh I'll just pull something up on the computer to keep my attention." Keep in mind that I don't use Apple computers except occasionally at school so it isn't second nature to me like it is at home. I looked at the computer and wondered if the teacher had left it on so I moved the mouse to see if it would wake it up. 



Not wanting to interact with the student but wanting to look busy, I didn't want to disclose the fact that computer was off and I didn't know how to turn the thing on. Remember, I have no real experience with Apple computers and this one was an all-in-one model so there is only a monitor and a key board. I casually felt around to see if there was a button somewhere but I didn't find anything. I thought I would just begin typing on the keyboard to make it look like I was doing something. I began to type just like I would if the computer was on. I felt silly but I didn't want the student in the room to know that I really had nothing to do. 

As my finger flitted over the keyboard in pretended accomplishment, a voice from across the room said, 

"Do you want me to help you turn that on?"

It was the voice of the very student who I was trying to seem occupied for! I had all I could do to not laugh out loud at his question and mustered a, "Nope, I am good."  

"But it's not on. Do you want to me turn it on?" he asked. 


"No, it's okay," I replied, "I've got other things I can do." 

Are you wondering what grade this student is in? 1st grade!

BWHAHAHAHAHA!  Even funnier, I know!

Artwork compliments of my father when he was a child.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Destination: Florida

I can't believe it is May already! It seems impossible to think that it was a month ago already that our good friends Sam and Amy invited us to go with them to Pensacola Beach, Florida. What a wonderful time we had spending 9 days just bumming around and relaxing!

First-timers on the beach! :)

This was first time that Abigail and Annah had ever been to a beach. It has been along standing complaint (and joke) of Abigail's that she is 16 and she hadn't even been to a beach or seen the ocean. She's been known to tell perfect strangers that she's never been to a beach. :) If she wants to get technical she can say she *still* hasn't seen an ocean since we were on the Gulf of Mexico side of Florida! :) But later this summer she will be seeing the Pacific Ocean so she will have to wait just a little longer! 

Florida, where the sand is as white as Abigail's skin!


The view from the beach house -- gorgeous! 

Walkway to the beach 

Love this shot of the colorful stools on the pier.

Abigail found a star fish in the water! Just walking along and she saw something in the water, reached in and plucked it out! 
*No starfish were harmed while being photographed. 
She put it back in the water after the picture.

Abigail and Annah at Fort Pickens 

Annah, Abigail, Elizabeth...these girls share a sweet friendship -- love them!

View of the pier 

Beach time.....  I love this guy!

Tim and Sam

Found a mermaid on the beach!

Loved this picture of Annah...until we realized she only had one leg. 
Hahahaha! :)

One night we went crabbing...catching crabs on the beach with nets and pails and then letting them go. There was some serious screaming going on during the catch and the release and I'm not saying by who! 
*One crab *was* harmed during this outing when he lost a leg. 
I won't name who was so brutal with the net!

Tim knows how to dress for the beach -- seriously!

Soothing my cream on the Boardwalk :)

Tim didn't get a bad burn but he got ice cream too.  

It was a lovely time spent with wonderful friends, warm sun and sand, refreshing breezes, and beautiful views! 

Yes, let's!