Mother’s Day: Grateful For These Women💗

On this Mother’s Day I’m reflecting upon special women in my life and their roles. I’m extremely grateful for these moms!  As a mom myself, I wish to honor them, for how can I truly enjoy this day without paying homage to my loved ones who have made a difference and influenced my mothering?

 

 

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Thank you to my mom, who has supported me from day one and loved me unconditionally. I owe so much to her for helping me grow and overcome so much, when I was younger. She was my go to person, who I could always  count on, until I stood on my own two feet. What I love about her is that she has always listened to me no matter what. When I’m down and out she whispers sweet little prayers for me aloud. It does my heart some good to know that mom is still looking out for me, even though I’m grown and a mother myself now. Happy Mother’s Day to the lady who gave birth to me so long ago with love.

 

 

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There’s another sweetheart in my life who befriended me at work so many years ago and brought me to her home for a hot meal and loving conversation. That day I met her only son, who happens to be my husband now.

 

On this special day I can’t write this post without mentioning Theo, my second mom. I’m so thankful for my mother in law and her friendship. She’s always been there for me and a champion for our family. We’ve done baseball games together, camped with the kids in the summers and spent several Christmases cooking a meal. She’s been an outstanding grandmother to her grandchildren and has always been there for her four children. That’s the kind of lady who sets an example and someone I learned from when I was starting out. Happy Mother’s Day to her with love.

 

 

 

I must mention my sons today as well. There’s not a day that doesn’t go by without my grateful feelings for my two sons. Being a mother has been the most learning, humbling, exhilarating and rewarding experience of my life!❤️ If I would want to be remembered for anything once I pass on, it would be that I was a great and loving mom and that I was happy doing it. I have no regrets, even with mistakes I made because I know I made up for them with love. Also that’s what makes me human!

 

 

Last but not least, I’m extremely grateful for the group of women I work with. We all work in an elementary wing and every teacher and para there are kind, like old friends who support each other with love. I have to thank Laura, Carol, Anne, Brittany, Beth, Darcy, Aimee, Joanna and Donna who work together with joy, their main goal is to teach children, support them and provide a safe loving environment. These special women are all mothers in one way or another through their nurturing and loving actions with the school children. Kudos to these heroes I know, who are teaching our future leaders with a grace and confidence that’s impeccable!

 

As I wrap up this post, I challenge you to think of the special women in your life.  Have you made the time to visit them, message or call? Most importantly, have you told them that you love them? That means the world to mothers , coupled with tight hugs and lots of kisses.

 

Happy Mothers Day to all you moms out there! I hope you receive precious time with your children and hugs too!

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

School Moments That Matter

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Upon entering the school door, you just never know what emotions you’ll come across that day!  There are happy beaming faces with rosy cheeks. Sometimes you will encounter somber and crying faces. Then there’s the excited gleaming children with a twinkle in their eyes. A deluge of  emotions can sometimes be packed into one school day. Sometimes a kind word and smile will fix it. Sometimes not. It’s our job to reassure children that all will be okay.

 

I can’t promise that I’ll totally fix what’s wrong or make it go away. I do know I can listen and sympathize. Then I go home and on my terms, I pray. I pray for that little one and their school career. I hope that his or her life will end up being beautiful and blessed by God. Sometimes that’s all I can do but it’s enough.

 

 

 

Just yesterday my heart swelled with love and appreciation for my job at school. Like any vocation, it has it’s tough stressful times and like others, I persevere because most of  the time I truly love what I do. At day’s end I went to the office to ” punch out” when a little boy in Kindergarten saw me and beamed the biggest smile, lighting up like a Christmas tree. ” Hi Mrs. Blowey!” That special energetic greeting uplifted me, reminding me why I do what I do at school.

 

Kindergarten students are the most excited when they see you out of your element. If shopping at Wal- mart with their parents and they see me, outstanding smiles grow and even one little boy asked me one day, ” Why are you here and not at school?” This reminds me of a book I read with some of my groups about the teacher sleeping at school. Does she sleep at her desk? Does she sleep in the gym? No, she sleeps at home in her bed!

 

It’s the moments kids come running up to you in the classroom, begging to come see me  to work. I think most of them  love being singled out, one on one attention to get work done and squeeze a little meaningful conversation as well.

 

 

 

This job is a magnificent blessing in my life, a chance to try to make a difference in a child’s day. A chance to positively affect lives in the smallest way. At the end of the day, these precious moments actually mean more than the paycheck and that’s why I work at a school.

 

The Simple Gift of a Rock

 

 

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Young children innocently pick up stones and either chuck them or hide them away in their pocket. Our sons chose their favorites over the years in our driveway or on hikes. Sometimes they would leave it as a special gift on the kitchen counter and I would proudly place them in the window as a show piece. Other times my little boys left them deep in their jeans pockets and I would find them on laundry day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a meaningful quote (taken from wisdomquotesandstories.com) that says when a child gives you a rock, take it with gratitude for it may be the only thing they have to give and they’ve chosen you to give it to.

 

 

 

 

Over the years a few small dirtied hands have clasped mine and religiously slipped a rock in mine, walking in from recess. It really is an honor, a simple gift they could give. I placed them gently in the folds of my pocket with the hopes that I’ll never not love this vocation.

 

 

 

A few years back a first grade boy gave me a special rock. It meant the world to me because working with him was a challenge. I would take him a few times a week to work on reading skills, mostly phonological  awareness. Sometimes it was tough and trying because he really had no interest in learning and no matter what fun activity I tried, he bucked the whole time like a wild mustang.

 

 

 

When he gave me his present we gained an unspoken understanding. I knew learning to read would never be easy for him but I had to try to help anyway I could. This meaningful gift touched my heart and even helps me today, as a reminder to not give up on children. I am grateful for this gift that will see me through my career.

 

 

 

 

This child moved away the next year and I was sorry to see him go. My co-worker and I each gave him a remember me sticker and we both had his precious rocks. We held back our tears when he said goodbye to us. Now his family has moved back in the area and he goes to middle school in a neighboring town. Like all the school children, I wish that child all my best in his high school career and life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My little flat smooth rock sits on my kitchen shelf as a testament of  love for the little moments with students. It serves as my remembrance of working with children and how I grateful I am for the honor.

 

 

The rock on my shelf is also a little reminder that you have to remain patient with a steadfast determination when working with children. Flexibility is a must because if a child isn’t having a great day or if events are happening at home that he or she need to talk about, then that may end up being the agenda for the day. (Especially if it’s a one on one group) Other times the child may generate his own cut up sentence so he has his say but is still working.

 

School is their home away from home and you have to get it right, for they are always watching what you do. Knowing this weighs on me, for what if I’m having a bad day? Then I can’t show it because I still have a job to do. Despite this pressure, it’s the best job in the world and in my opinion, the most fulfilling.

 

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

Sickness Denial

That feeling of being sick…

It all starts with a sore throat and a rampage of constant sneezing. A day later mom’s voice has faded to a Minnie Mouse tone, as coughing violently erupts from the very bottom of my toes.

 

 

 

This year I’ve been sick too many times. My workplace, a school, is a Petri dish for a variety of sicknesses, and so it shouldn’t be a surprise that once again, I’m sick.

 

 

Some of my problem is that my body is trying to tell me, take it easy. Yet my mind appears healthy as ever, striving to go to work anyway. Last week it started and I stayed home reluctantly. The next day I went back but my voice hadn’t returned to normal. I’m sure teachers didn’t want me there but nothing was said.

 

 

After resting all weekend (besides doing needed laundry and cleaning the bathroom), I stupidly trudged into work on Monday. I was in a terrible space and not well enough. At the end of this treacherous day, a teacher walked down the hall with me and candidly said, “Why don’t you stay home tomorrow and get better?”

 

 

Silence.

 

 
I went home pondering this, realizing everyone was thinking this but it took a bold co-worker to relay the message.

 

 

I know what you are thinking…you’re getting everyone else sick. Am I part of the widespread problem? The fact is that it kills me to stay home two consecutive days, slumped on the couch with a hot cup of tea by my side and a box of tissues keeping me company. I not only feel overwhelming guilt but it disrupts my whole week. But it’s the right thing to do and I must do it.

 
Today I slept. I coughed. I watched Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix. I blew my nose and rested my Minnie voice. My husband came home and so I talked….no change.

 

 
So rest can be good for a weakened body but will I be able to hang out here again tomorrow? Perhaps I’ll play other Netflix shows, read a little, and pray that I can go back to school on Thursday.

Does anyone else have difficulties listening to his/her own body?

Read Across America

 

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Who was hanging around our school all week? Why Dr. Seuss, of course! The school I work in celebrated Read Across America Day yesterday. Most of the time schools acknowledge it on March 2nd, to honor Dr. Seuss’s birthday. We celebrated early, a week before vacation, for some fun for the kids because it’s Winter Carnival week for the middle and high school. As the middle and high school seeped with a carnival enthusiasm, why not include the elementary children in the wacky antics?

Everyone knows Dr.Seuss books, like Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham or Hop on Pop. I’ve worked in a school/preschool setting for 17 years now and I’ve never encountered any children disliking his books!  They’re fun! They’re creative! Zany characters jump off the page, making children smile. The words rhyme, while entertaining kids of all ages, and teaches the rhythm of language.

Read Across America started on Monday with Grinchy Green day. Teachers and students dressed in varying shades of green sweaters, shirts, socks and even scarves to mark the occasion. I had a perfect ensemble of a green sweater and a vivid lime green scarf wrapped around my neck. Tuesday was Foxy Sox day, a day to sport crazy and funky socks. In my travels, I spied socks bearing foxes, vibrant striped tights, camouflage socks and pink and purple glittery colors flashing around the school. Then Wacky Wednesday arrived with a sea of backwards shirts and cockeyed hats while unmatching socks and shoes paraded the halls. Some Kindergarteners and First graders wore stiff gel in their hair, to make it wacky.

One day the fifth graders visited the elementary classes for book buddies. Each fifth grader read Dr. Seuss books to a younger child and some of the blossoming younger students read a page as well. Laughter and genuine conversations about the book hung in the air. It was apparent that this activity was valuable to all and that we should do it more often like once a week or once every two weeks!

 

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Thursday was the special day of Read Across America events, starting with a monthly Community Meeting. Our elementary school has this meeting every month in the morning. Kindergarten through fifth grade sit in the huge gym and kids take turns running the meeting, even able to use a microphone. We all say the pledge of allegiance first. Then it varies by month. Sometimes a class will read a Reader’s Theater or perform a skit. Sometimes the Principal gives awards for Honor roll and we all clap for every student, with the hope others will join the group next quarter. Usually there is an organized game for all to play with the mixed grades. It’s great to watch the older kids helping their younger peers. Most of the time the music teachers create a hype with a fun sing song or dance, generating a contagious excitement as kids bust a move, laugh and prove that we do have fun in school!

This Read Across America meeting was special. Everyone was wearing red and white stripes for Dr. Seuss’s the Cat in the Hat. Honor roll students were called up and given their awards and teachers took pictures for the newspaper. Our Title One teacher organized the festivities and came up with the brilliant idea of making paper chains, one chain per book that a student read. We broke up into groups and the children each made their own mini chains, some with five and others had fifteen chain links and hooked them together ceremoniously. Excitement was in the air, as all the groups attached their colorful chains together and it spanned the monstrous gym. Kids held on to them and paraded around proudly! Last, we hung them up in our hall, to symbolize all the books we had read collectively. What a beautiful rainbow gallery we will walk through the next few weeks!

Later in the afternoon, we divided all the kids with mixed grades into groups for activities. Every group was led by a teacher and covered a unique theme. There were groups reading about bugs and dug for bugs in dry coffee grounds, one group read about cars and made cars and roads. Another group read Rainbow Fish and had a painting project, while another read Harold and the Purple Crayon and made purple yarn mobiles and painted the foyer windows with bright happy pictures. Closing our joyous day, all the groups had a little treat of blue jello with a couple of gummy fish.

All in all the children and adults had an exciting week with all the activities. It was amazing to see all the excitement and love for books! All week classes read the rhythmic Dr.Seuss classics and cemented the fantastic idea that reading is fun! Want to make a huge investment? Read to your children, grandchildren,  nieces and nephews, friends and neighbors!

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️