Happy 2015

Happy New Year!

I am happy to announce that I am not making resolutions this year.

Am not.

Refuse.

Nope.

Not me.

Negative.

I am, however, going to continue to:

Be kind.

Live up to my standards, and not live down to the world’s standards.

Be positive.

Make healthy choices, both physically and emotionally.

Be honest, about myself and others.

Encourage.

Be organized.

Have healthy relationships.

Be neat.

Stop comparing myself.  There is only one of me, and I am it.

Be thoughtful.

Love and be loved.

Be aware.

Lift heavy stuff.

 

I should not have to resolve to start doing these things on New Year’s, like a racehorse leaving the starting gate.  These should be things that I just do.  If I take care of this, the rest of the typical resolutions will take care of themselves.

Have a blessed 2015!

 

 

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Giving Thanks Today and Beyond

On this day of Thanksgiving, take time out this day to really think about what you are truly thankful for in your life.  Not the stuff, but the people and relationships and positive things that you have seen in your life. Even the negative stuff that taught you how to be a better person.

On the day after Thanksgiving, do the same thing.

On the day after that, do the same thing again.

Keep going – day after day after day – and you will see how truly blessed you really are.

Don’t limit yourself to one day or one month of thanksgiving, but make it a way of life.

Charlie Brown Thanksgivng – How Was It?

I cannot express how proud I was of the Student Council kids yesterday.  From the moment I was visible in the halls in the morning, they wanted to know what they could do and when they could start doing it.  When they were dismissed from class, they came running into the cafeteria, grabbed supplies, and started decorating.  They had the cafeteria decorated in ten minutes.  Then, they got silly.  That is normal.  But the cafeteria looked amazing, and they were so pleased.

The reaction of the students was priceless.  They were so appreciative of the decorations, the movie, and the effort that the Student Council had put into doing this.  I heard NOT ONE negative comment, which if you teach middle school or have a middle school child, is pretty darn impressive.  The cafeteria was relatively quiet, as some of the students saw “Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” for the very first time.

For some of them, it was not the first time to watch the movie, and it was delightful to watch the joy on their faces as they watched it again.  Some middle schoolers are not terribly expressive, so it was fun to watch their faces light up.

My Student Council kids felt appreciated, and as if they had made a difference.

They cannot wait to do this again for Christmas…

To tell the truth, neither can I…

My Own Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

I have a very ambitious group of Student Council members this year.  First on their agenda was to do a fund raiser, but they had no idea what they were raising money to do.  That seems to be the common thing that every group wants to do.  Once we got that out of the way, we planned the Homecoming festivities – the dress up days that we have each year – and moved on to the new events we wanted to try.

Enter the Thanksgiving Feast.

Let me start out by saying that we are not serving food.  It is enough to trust some of those sweet little campers with safety scissors, as they, as most middle schoolers do, tend to act first and then think.  Cooking a meal for the middle school with them is more than my little brain can fathom…or wants to fathom for that matter.

The original plan included crafty decorations for the tables.  The tables would be arranged in U shape.  Each table would have its own tablecloth.  We would have places for students to write what they were thankful for.  And we would show “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.”

The actual plan includes the plastic tablecloths, a hodgepodge of decorations from homes and the dollar store, hand turkeys on which each students writes what he or she is thankful for, and we are showing “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.”

Although it is far from the Martha Stewart/TV teen show picture in their heads, this has been awesome to watch.  At 7:10 yesterday morning, I had ten students in the cafeteria pre-cutting the tablecloths and starting the “Walls of Thanksgiving.”  One of the student brought a glittery pumpkin for decoration.  During lunch each day, I have had a table full of kids who have been managing the creating of the hand turkeys.  Even with some kids still “accidently” covering their hands in Sharpie, it went so smoothly, and everyone got to participate – even the kids who deemed it not cool.

We’re ready for this today.  And just like the show, it may look like a mess of popcorn, toast, chairs that don’t match, and imperfection at its finest.

But it is theirs.  They did this out of their own desire to serve.  They are leading by serving.

And for that, I am thankful.

Summer Gratitude

Summer is here, and I am so happy.  I am also very grateful for:

Sleeping until 5:15am.

Being able to go to crossfit before the sun comes up.

My workout buddy who also is now able to be at crossfit before the sun comes up. 

Spending time with family and friends.

Summer fruits and veggies.

Canning and freezing summer fruits and veggies.

“Walker: Texas Ranger” reruns.

Watching those reruns with my son and making Chuck Norris jokes.

My daylilies blooming.

Taking the summer off from coaching and curriculum development.

Going on adventures with my son.

Owning a bathing suit.

Going to the beach after my husband gets home from work.

Being active and vegging out. 

Being able to focus on fewer things at a time. 

Rest. 

 

 

Simply Grateful

Reflecting on this weekend, I have so much to be grateful for in my life:

The gift of time just to spend together as a family

Walking on the beach and looking for shells

Celebrating milestones with friends

The funny texts from my colleagues

Finding plants on clearance and giving them a good home

The beautiful weather

My son who is has a quirky sense of humor

The tomatoes that are starting to set in my garden

The amaryllis that bloomed on Easter

The blooms that are starting on my daylilies

Coffee on my back porch on a beautiful morning

The funny little friends that my son has made

My sweet husband

The birds who have had a nest of baby birds in our birdhouse on the back porch

Seagulls and songbirds

And most importantly, the death and resurrection of Jesus.  My Redeemer lives!