Thursday, May 30, 2013

#Bookaday Challenge

Teacher and author, Donalyn Miller (author of The Book Whisperer which is on my summer reading list) has hosted a book-a-day challenge for the past few years. You can read about the challenge here.

I have decided to join the group this year - this sort of challenge is right up my alley. I love that I can read whatever I want - books for school, professional books, books for adults, books I've already read. It doesn't matter. Of course, it will help my school life in the fall - and my shelf-bowing to-be-read stacks - if I read things I haven't read before. But I have some "comfort books" I love to revisit when I have free time. And I am hoping for a LOT of free time this summer.

Teachers are officially done on the 4th of June, but I've given myself the rest of that week to work. I know me. I will use this week to do a full inventory of the library. I've never done one before so I don't know how long that will take. Then I have some year end cleaning or sorting to do next week. And, as always, I have books to catalog and process for the library. So I will start the challenge on the 10th of June. And I've already told my son we might have to head back to school the first of August to start getting ready for the new year. So I'll wrap up the challenge (officially, at least) on the 31st of July. So, that's 52 days. And 52 books.

It sounds delightful! I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Wisdom of Youth

When my son was in kindergarten, I was looking forward to our first spring break together. As I was teaching part time and subbing that year, I was excited about a free week and all the projects I could get done. At dinner one night I talked about all the things I was going to put on my to do list for the week. My son piped up and asked for his own paper and pencil so he could write his own list. I was so proud. Then he said, "How do you spell 'nothing?' "

This was a pivotal moment in our life together as driven mother and laid-back son. And now, several years later, he has done it again.

Now, we are thinking about our summer off from school. Last year I worked like a maniac to get the library the way I wanted it - at least some of the major projects I wanted done. I promised him I wouldn't do that again this year. But as June has gotten closer we've got more and more things on our schedule - vacation, church camp, basketball camp, swimming, golf, reading, etc. As I started thinking through my son's schedule for the summer, I felt as though it was slipping away before it even arrived.

And then my son said he wanted to cut a couple things out of the schedule so he had more free time for the summer.

He may be in elementary school, but he is a wise boy - at least when it comes to work vs. rest. And he is teaching his mother all the time.

So, we have called off some of the activities we had been talking about for the summer. I'll keep working at listening to my son's reminders to rest and play at least as much as I work and get things done. We'll see if we can feel rested at the end of the summer this year.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

52 Lists - List things that feel like home

Barnes and Noble
our school
my family
favorite, oft-read books
writing - the physical act of writing
my mom's wedding rings
my dad's sweatshirt

Saturday, May 18, 2013

52 Lists -- List your essentials

my husband and son
my faith
caffeine-free diet Pepsi
a book store
a full bookshelf/e-reader
my favorite books - Harry Potter, Kitty Katt-Martini Alien series
my chair and blankets in the living room
my iPhone
notebooks and pens
a needle and thread for cross stitching (I am rediscovering how much I enjoy this hobby - it goes in spurts)
Facebook (a source of information and means to connect with people)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

52 Lists - List ways you cleanse for spring

Several times a year - not just spring - we go through the house and purge things. Our house is small and we accumulate a lot of "stuff." So we clean out clothes and books and other items and pass them on to others. We re-order things that have started to pile up in various spots. This year I also did a large purge from my scrapbooking supplies. I have really enjoyed Becky Higgins' Project Life system and will likely be doing very little "traditional" scrapbooking in the future.

Have you done any spring cleaning?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Loaves and Fishes

I was in a funk this weekend. I was not looking forward to heading back to school on Monday. Last week felt like one long fight with students. I'm tired. It's May, which is fraught with emotional ups and downs. I really just wanted to stay in bed with a pile of books.

We had a rare 10 minutes to kill before heading to church on Sunday, so I sat down with my journal to get my thoughts on paper. When I had rambled on for a few paragraphs, I went back to the start of the journal and skimmed through it and found a treasure.

Earlier this year I was doing really well about faithfully completing a Bible in One Year app written by Nicky and Pippa Gumbel (@NickyGumbel, @PippaGumbel). In a commentary about a New Testament passage where Jesus takes just a little food and feeds thousands, the Gumbel's wrote this:

"I take great comfort in this: Jesus can do a lot with a little. If we offer to Jesus the little we have, he can multiply it and meet the needs of all the people."

Oh, I needed to be reminded of this. I have four more weeks of school to go in this school year, and I want to finish well and finish strong. But I feel like I have so little left to give - little patience for the daily struggle with students to keep them moving forward toward the end of the year, little creativity, little energy. I need Jesus to take this little bit that I have left and multiply it to be all I need - and all He needs - it to be for the work that still needs to be done this year.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

52 Lists - List places you want to go

a cruise
The Silver Needle in Oklahoma
San Diego ComicCon
Phoenix ComicCon
Disney World (again and again)
Lambeau Field (again and again)
Hogwarts (a girl can dream)

So, where do YOU want to go?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

God Is Good

I have been dealing with some medical things lately involving extra tests and procedures to be sure everything is as it should be.

And when I had enough information to feel like I could tell friends and family that all was fine, I typed up an email. As I wrapped up the information, I expressed our relief that things were good and our gratitude for everyone's support and prayers. Then I started to type, "God is good."

And I paused.

Not because it isn't true, but because it is true. Always. Even if my news had been very different.

I couldn't feel okay about typing "God is good" at the end of our good news because that felt like I was saying God was good because I was okay, because I got the report I wanted. But God is good all the time - in good times and in hard ones, in good news and in devastating news. While I could have typed it and it would have been true, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Some day, the news won't be good, the answers I want won't come.

When that day comes, I hope I can say "God is good."