Friday, August 14, 2015

Just an overall update

... because I haven't done one of those in a million years! At least.

School is about to start. I have a 2nd grader, a Kindergartener, and a going-to-grandma's-er. :) Little Michael will start 2nd grade next Friday, and then he will turn 8 a week (and a couple of days) later. He has gotten so tall. He loves Minecraft, Battle Bots, running, riding his bike, swimming, and taking advantage of being nearly 8 and getting to occasionally drink a Dr. Pepper.
Here's this big dude and his mama getting ready to watch Minions.

Dylan is going to Kindergarten this year. This will be his first year in a full day program, and his first school year without his teacher, Miss Angie. I, of course, panicked about this. But then I found out that his teacher is going to be one of my dear friends from my old school, and now I'm super excited! He loves Peppa Pig (he calls her Poppa Pig. ha!), playing with any toy, getting in to things, playing on his Leap Pad, waking up way earlier than anyone else (except his daddy, who leaves for work at 5:30am), and taking advantage of that time by locking up my phone, playing on his brother's kindle, getting grapes out of the fridge, getting completely naked, etc. He also has a love of saying "GD" (except... the actual words...) because a boy on the bus taught him that. We haven't been able to break it just yet. He's potty training, but he's not anywhere near the finish line on that, yet. He has been stuck in terrible twos/threes for a few years now. Just when I am about to pull all of my hair out, he turns on his charm and becomes my sweet, loving, cutie pie who says, "I love you too, Mommy!" (even when I don't say it first, it still contains "too.")
Here's my guy playing at his friend Jesse's birthday party... the first one he has ever been invited to! It was a good time.

 Chase David turned 15 months old today! He is a CLIMBER. He climbs on any and every thing. The other two weren't major climbers. They climbed a little, but they seemed to understand some boundaries. Not Chase! If it's semi-steady, he thinks he's supposed to climb on it. Or use it as a step-stool to something even higher. He is our big eater, too! Our other two are finicky eaters... not this guy! He and Dyl can clear about the same amount at lunch time.
He does what he wants.

 Me? I'm getting ready to start my 12th year of teaching. I'll be teaching 3rd grade again this year. Big Michael is working and doing his lawn care business, and he's doing such a great job. So... that's an update on us. What's new with you??

Monday, May 04, 2015

Jaden.

I have worked in a public school setting for the past 15 years. In college, I worked for a grant where we tutored kids in Math in before, during, or after school programs. When I first moved to L-town, America, I decided I really wasn't ready to have my own classroom, so I worked as a paraprofessional in a Title I school. I started teaching the next year, and I've been in my own classroom for the last 11 years. In all this time, I have attended funerals for other teachers, teachers' parents, students' parents, and even a couple of students' siblings.

This Wednesday, I have to attend the funeral of a former student of mine.

Jaden was a little Fireball when I had her in 3rd grade. She always said what was on her mind with little to no filter. She made me laugh, and she made me pull my hair out. Her family was absolutely one of my favorite families to work with at that school. I had her big brother a couple of years before her, then her big sister the year before her. I can still picture exactly where Jaden sat in my classroom. And even when she and I were at odds with each other, she always had a hug and a smile for me. I moved away from that school the school year after I had Jaden, so I didn't get to have any more of her siblings, and I've always been sad about that. There was a whole crop of them coming up after her, too! :)

A couple of years after I had Jaden in class, she was diagnosed with cancer. She has always been a Fireball, though, so I knew if anybody could kick cancer in the butt, it would be this girl. And she did. I saw her a while back at a restaurant, and she told me all about how she had been cancer free for a couple of years at that point. She added me on Facebook, and even though teachers aren't supposed to have students on their Facebook friends list, I added her back anyway.

 It probably wasn't even a month later that she found out her cancer had returned.

The little Fireball was still determined that she was going to kick cancer's butt. She fought so hard, and even went back into remission. But it came back with a vengeance. She went out swinging, though, her mom says. I have absolutely no doubts about that.

Jaden, if Heaven has the Internet and you happen to see this post, please know that I loved you. I love all my students, in fact. I never wanted to attend a student's funeral, but I will be there, celebrating you. You kicked butt, girl, and I believe you won the war. Cancer has no more power over your body. There will be nobody on this planet that could ever replace you, but what a blessing it was to have you here. Sweet girl, you changed hearts while you were here. You made everyone so proud. Great will be your reward in Heaven for all the people you've turned to Christ with your steadfast belief in Him. You always knew your reward at the end of this would be Heaven, but really, you are Heaven's reward. Thank you for being here, Jaden, and for reminding me to love on the people I'm with right now while I can, including (and most importantly) the Fireballs. :)

To Jaden's family, if you ever happen to see this, thank you for sharing your girl with me a few years ago. Thank you for sharing her with the world. You did something big by letting her story be known. You changed hearts too. You've always been one of the most loving families I've ever had the pleasure of working with, and I know your family love will get you through the darkest of this.

Cancer sucks, y'all.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Blogging again.

Oh hi. I'm still here. Or I'm back, I guess. It's weird to get back into blogging when you've stopped for so long. There have been a million things that have happened, but out of those million things, nothing has been major or blog worthy. Life is just plugging along, and I'm trying to steal as many moments with my little people as possible before they're not little people anymore. I've already blinked entirely too many times, because my babies are just growing and changing and doing new things constantly. Little Michael has learned to ride a bike with no training wheels, reads well above his age level, and does lots of things on his own that used to require my assistance. Dylan is talking more and more and getting into more and more mischief. Chase is mobile, and even though he's our quiet one, we really feel like he's going to make the other two look like amateurs when it comes to stunts pulled. He will probably be our first injury trip to the ER. Me? I'm teaching 3rd grade again this year. The kids are (for the most part) well behaved and eager to learn. I don't really do anything other than teach and be a mom. I don't have any hang-out friends, but even if I did, I probably wouldn't do much "hanging out" because my other 2 identities keep me so very busy. So any time people ask about me, they're going to get a school or a baby story. I'm not complaining about that, by the way. I love my kids (school and home). But there's just not much else to report. I will attempt to update way more often. I think you're more interesting than I am, so tell me, what's up with YOU? :)