Another first day awaiting…

wow.  Tomorrow kicks off my 21st year teaching.  How time flies. (Don’t remind me that my 1st class of second graders are all now getting married and having kids!)

tomorrow kicks off a new adventure.  Back to the classroom after 6 years being in the lead role for our department.  I’ll be teaching three Alt Skills classes and an Alt ELA (Reading/ENglish block class).   I AM PUMPED!

I don’t even remember the last time I had a Labor Day weekend like this one.  Relaxed. Calm. Refreshed. Ready to go!

Tomorrow Punky will venture on to fifth grade.  Can’t believe he’ll be at my school next year!   Kirby will still be at Kristall’s for daycare.   She does such a fantastic job with the kids, and this will be the year where Punky will be a “big kid” and hopefully step into a new role helping his friends.   We decided in the last week to hold off on preschool with him.  I have no academic concerns, but I just can’t fathom him turning 18 then a week later leaving for college.  I also don’t want him to be the “young kid” when he’s in middle school or high school, as those kids tend to stand out.  So, next year he will do preschool, and then the following year, he will start kindergarten.  This way he’ll be about teh same age as Punky was when Punky started.   No reason to rush a childhood in today’s society!

So, tomorrow I embark on a new adventure.  One I have great passion for and great ideas.   I step foot into my classroom…and hopefully make real connections with kids and help them to be better people.

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I have recycled worksheet after worksheet.  I threw out busy work sheets on building character.   You don’t learn about character by doing work sheets.  you DO.   We are going to do projects – hands-on experiences – activities – secret missions – and SHOW people our new skills.   It’s all about learning how to enjoy life, relax, and love the little things.  This is an exciting year, and I am ready for it!


True Blessings

13769384_10153574890401786_2632481130427760746_nI am completely overwhelmed by the kindness of others!

I proposed a project on and raised over $1700 in the past few days to get my students ChromeBooks for our upcoming school year.

A friend at church paid for a “bar-like table” for my classroom as I explore flexible seating options.

My kids helped me bring 2 loads of stuff over to school today to get the stuff OUT OF MY HOUSE!

A parent of a former student of mine dropped off magazines for my classroom as we have many projects planned for their use!

My position back in the classroom next year leaves me with TONS of time this summer to be with my kids.   What a blessing!  There’s not a day that I don’t thank God for our new “normal” around here.   I take in every. single. moment. with these two and rejoice in the time off that I have with them!  This summer is so stress-free and freeing not only to me, but to my family.   I had no idea how much I had on my plate.

It is so eye-opening to enjoy the every day little things….the tickles, the smiles, the questions, the explanations, the sports banter….and not be rushed and hurried and always- on- the- go.  It’s okay to stop what I’m doing and snuggle with a tired Kirby for 1/2 hour while we “chill.”   It’s ok to stop what I am doing and sit down with Punky and really listen to his ideas and comments about the world, sports, and life in general.   These two boys amaze me every single day, and I am so thankful that I have this time with them.  Such a different feel to this summer, and I absolutely LOVE it!

It is so freeing to know that I have almost a month left with these guys before I really start back to school.  It’s even more fun to see how excited they are to help me get ready for school.  Their excitement as they run to my new room is heartwarming.  I seriously have never in the past 6 years just lived in the moment during summer – there was always work to be done.

I am so unbelievably blessed and I am so thankful for all of the blessings I have in my life.  These two little boys are my focus right now…as it should be.    Thank you, God, for all of the eye-opening, life-changing,  and A-ha moments this summer.   I am truly blessed.


P.S. My FitBit has been acting up and falling apart.  I emailed them and asked if that was normal for an 8 month old purchase.   They are replacing my FitBit free!   WOW!   THANK YOU!  Another blessing! 









Summer Check-In

Wow!   Summer is half over!!!!   We have been very busy and enjoying every single minute of it!


We took out own little family vacation in Duluth.   Monday – Thursday of pure together time.   It was so nice.   Everything was beautiful, and I loved reconnecting with my boys after the crazy school year ended.   We had a lot of fun, and hope to return again soon!

Punky finished up his baseball season.  He will now be on the all-star team.   He has decided to hang up his football gear and play fall Baseball this year.   He will also play basketball again this winter.

My mom and dad came to visit us for 6 days!  We had lots of fun.  We took a boat ride on the St. Croix River.   We spent sometime in Stillwater, too.   We spent time at the Coon Rapids Dam.   We hit the cute stores in Anoka.  We had insanely planned on driving up to Itasca State Park to see the beginning of the Mississippi River, but that didn’t work in to our plans.   Maybe another time!  Mom and I took a Salad in a Jar class at the Thomas Reese Oil Company.  It was awesome!   I will be back there soon!

After mom and dad left, I knew I’d get sick as the stress of the end of the school year and then my trip to Duluth and their visit.  The second my body had time to relax—-a double ear infection and sinus infection.  Awesome.  😦


I spent the fist few days of this month on the couch…popping my antibiotics and watching as many Orange is the New Black episodes as I could stay awake for.

July 7 – 14th we spent in Orlando Florida with my entire family – Mom, Dad, my sister, her husband, their 2 boys, my brother, his wife, and then our clan.   IT. WAS. HOT!  Heat index predictions each day were 105- 109 degrees.   You would just walk out of the hotel at 9 AM and start dripping sweat.   It was insanely hot.  Despite the heat, we managed to hit all 4 Disney Theme Parks as well as a day at the Kennedy Space Station.  We even got to relax at the awesome pool and hotel we were at… if only for a few hours.  It was busy, but the kids had a blast!

After we flew back home on Thursday, I booked a flight to Chicago to attend the wake and funeral of my best friend’s dad.  It was so nice to reconnect with her and her family.  I try to see her as often as I can when we are “home” together.  My parents and her mom still live 3 houses apart.  She’s quite an amazing person, as I’m sure you know, I’ve blogged about her before!  🙂  Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, here and here!

This weekend kicks off a week here with my nephew.   He likes to come up and spend some time with his cousins…and we love when he is here!


I am so looking forward to the the rest of our summer.  We have some plans, but lots of relaxing, hanging out, and getting things ready for my classroom!   (How exciting is that!?!?   So excited to be headed back this fall!  It’s been 6 years since I was in the classroom!)

I’ll be back soon… I promise!  ;)


All Mine

I brought my little stick figure family card to work today (The one I blogged about the other day) to try to keep my thoughts up.

It was still a rough day.

I just hate this.

Anyway, I emailed Hubby after a few meetings I had this morning, and 30 seconds later my phone rang.   Hubby was calling.   He asked if he could put a big huge light at the end of this tunnel by booking a few nights in Duluth with the boys right after school gets out.  He said it would be so awesome to get away after dealing with all this stuff this spring.  He asked if that would help me.  My answer, “YES!  I would love to spend time up there with him and our boys.  A Perfect kickoff to an awesome summer!”

Do you know how much I love this man?

Thank you sweetie!  I can’t wait!   I love you!


Finding a little EXTRA strength these days…

My Grandma was one hell of a lady.  She was a pillar of strength.  She was a warrior.  She had an unwavering faith.  She was wise.  She was prayerful.  She was a fighter.  She was stubborn.  She was beautiful.  She was strong.  She was one of my heroes.

Remember this post  I wrote during her last few days on this earth?

So, who do I turn to for help lately?   My grandma.  (Besides all of my earthly friends and family)

Grandma’s favorite color was bright green.   So, as I sat at the nail salon trying to choose a color for my nails, I decided to channel my grandma’s strength!  I chose GREEN!  So, when I need a little extra something, I just glance down at my hands, remember Grandma, and keep on keeping on.


I miss you Grams, but I know you are with me every step of the way lately!  I love you!



The Perfect Day

The highlights of my day today…

6:45 AM.  Kirby wants me to draw his family on the bathroom mirror.  (Note to readers, I love Expo markers in the bathroom!  Every night when I am brushing my teeth and 5,000 thoughts are running through my mind, I grab a marker and write what I need to remember for tomorrow right on the bathroom mirror. So, he learned this from me. True confession.)

I draw his family on the mirror.   I label the figures as Mommy and Daddy.   Kirby is upset because Daddy’s name not start with a “D” it’s a “K!”  Smart kid.  So, I  label his family.   Then I drew a great big heart around it and asked him what that meant.  He nailed it in all of his 3.5 years.  “That’s ‘cuz we love each ot’er and we are a family.”  Made. My. Day.


Fast forward to tonight.  I was planning on making tacos, but then our awesome Schwan’s man came and I couldn’t fit all of teh food in my freezer.  So, we changed plans and had the really yummy Ancient Grain Encrusted Cod Filets.  To. Die. For!  Seriously, if you have yourself a Schwan’s man (or woman) order these!   Click here!

After our scrumptious dinner, the boys started watching the “funny video show” (AKA America’s Funniest Videos).  Keith and I stopped doing dishes and piled on the couch…soon the boys were all sitting on us, around us, etc.  The whole family…on the couch…laughing so hard at the “funny video show!”   Totally melted me heart.

Best day ever…in a long time!

So, as Keith reads to Punky, here I sit at the computer.  After Punky goes to bed, Keith and I will finish the dishes.   So. Worth. It.

Good night!




the little things

so today was a tough day…not sure why.  probably the stress of this crap, added to the miscarriage anniversary, added to the upcoming anniversaries, added to life, added to my thoughts, anyway, it all added up to me just being super chill today, and that was okay.

this weekend was filled with such highs… such awesome time spent one on one with each of my kids… but unfortunately no quiet time with Hubby.  we played musical beds a few times this weekend.  you know the drill….one gets up ’cause he can’t sleep; one gets up  ’cause there are shadows on the wall; etc.   i ended up on the couch… but my super nice hubby let me then sleep in both days once everyone was up, i crawled back into our bed and slept….hard!  (Thanks again, hubby!)

on saturday, hubby brought punky to see Star Wars again.  kirby and i hit up “‘Donald’s,” his favorite place.  we also had lots of silly play and conversations.  it was so sweet to spend time with him alone.   he certainly has a lot to say and lots of cool thoughts going on in that head of his.  my favorites from that day was his bath time; his falling asleep clutching his bunny rabbit after our “date,”

on sunday, i had the privilege of hearing one of our former pastor’s preach, and it was awesome.  it’s like she wrote the sermon just for me.  after church, punky and i were able to spend some time together seeing God’s Not Dead 2… i did blog about that and his amazing interest and questions in faith.  he amazes me everyday…just when i think i have him figured out, he asks another random question out of nowhere.  “mom, what’s your favorite bible verse?”  “mom, what do you think God meant by…” he’s such a thinker…


while punky and i were at the movie, hubby and kirby decided to try flying a kite.  hubby took this cute little video of him trying to fly the kite he got in his easter basket. so sweet.

i’m telling you…these boys are my truly blessings.  they teach me more and more about life than the adults i am around.

love you guys!