Saturday, December 27, 2008

New Pictures

TJ bought me a new camera for Christmas. . . one I've been wanting for about 10 years. I'm still learning to use it as it is an amazing camera and has lots of functions. But, here is a sample of pictures I've taken over the past couple of days.



Ta at our Pastor's son's wedding



T.G.




Sleeping Teagan


Handsome!



The boys with Ron "Patch" Hamilton


Rainbow, our cat

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Merry Christmas!

As you celebrate with loved ones, pause for a moment to reflect on the birth of the One and Only True Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Like we sang over cinnamon rolls this morning, Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sorry for the delay in posting. . .

Man, this has been a tiring week. The semester ended Monday night at 8:44pm (the time I handed in my last final exam) but the busyness has lasted throughout the week.

The tiredness actually began late last week (well, truthfully I’ve been tired since August!) because T.G. was sick. She was running a fever that began Saturday and ended Sunday night. She had a terrible runny nose and was constantly rubbing her ear. I brought her to the doctor on Monday and low and behold, she was fine! She is teething and the doctor attributed her ear pain to her teeth. Of course, by Tuesday her nose was running clear and by Wednesday it was gone.

Tuesday I accompanied my new class (the class I will be teaching starting in January) Christmas shopping. We went to Target and Chick-Fil-A. It was fun, but exhausting. The children range in age between 7 and 9, and all have cognitive disabilities. I was paired with 2 girls who have Down Syndrome, and I gotta tell ya, they are adorable! A handful, but adorable! One girl was actually in Th’s preschool class a couple years back.

I have been busy baking Christmas goodies and trying to get some last-minute shopping done. Ta and I went to the mall today with my old class, and he really had fun. The students enjoyed his company and he was very well-behaved (it’s amazing what a little one-on-one Mommy time does for behavior!) It was nice to see my students again, especially outside of the classroom setting.

Ta woke up with a cough this morning and I’m not sure who I was kidding when I thought everyone would be healthy over Christmas. I just pray that no one else gets it (I think it’s a cold) and that these next 2 weeks are enjoyable for all.

I am also behind on getting out my Christmas cards. I have them written, sort of, but I need to separate the pictures that go with them and insert our family’s Christmas letter. I hope to finish everything tonight so I can bring them to the Post Office in the morning.

Well, Motherhood calls as Teagan is ready to nurse. Have a great weekend!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Things that make you go, "Hmm. . ."

I seem to be in a "funk" lately. I am just really saddened by the fact that my kids are getting older. Time seems to be passing so quickly, and I feel like I have missed so much of their lives, mainly Th's. It is hard for me to remember him as an infant, toddler, or 3 year old for that matter. Speaking with friends about this, someone told me it was because I have more recent memories of my other children. In other words, with each child I have, I have memories of the "newbie" and the older memories fade. I honestly think that's the case, and I wish I could capture the time and relive certain events again.

I guess I am just struggling to find time for everyone, and I don't just mean the kids, but TJ, too. We spent most of the day together (with Teagan) as a friend of mine from church kept the other children so we could go Christmas shopping. We had a great time; I, of course, laughed more today than I have in a while because my husband is such a goof. But, it was nice and we definitely need to do things like that more often. However, I have my memories of the days before I had kids, when it was just TJ and me against the "big, bad world." Those memories are still vivid and clear in my mind, unlike the days of when Th was a preschooler. I guess I can't explain it very clearly, but know that I am struggling.

Struggling with aging, struggling with mothering, struggling with my memories.

*I am thankful I serve a God Who doesn't forget and ALWAYS remembers everything about me.*

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Study Day

Tomorrow begins my finals. I take my first of 5 exams in the morning. I have 2 on Thursday, 1 on Friday, and my last exam next Monday. I have reached the point in the semester where I cannot think any longer; my brain is fried and I have lost all motivation. I simply cannot learn anything else, so studying is difficult for me. It is at this point in the semester where I fully rely on the Lord for His strength and wisdom. Rather than study, all I can do is review my notes and pray the information I have been learning over the past 16 weeks comes to the forefront of my mind on exam day. Every semester I reach this point, but the Lord is faithful and has allowed me to do well in the past. I have a 4.0 Grade Point Average (GPA), and at this point, it would be nice to finish out both the semester and my degree with that GPA, but I am okay with getting a ‘B’.

I am also praying about the future and what is in store for me. I planned on beginning graduate school part-time to work on my Master’s degree while teaching. I am not sure if I will teach in the school district full-time or if I will perhaps look into something else part-time. A former professor of mine is the lead Special Ed person for the school district and is looking for teachers. I spoke with her last night and she is interested in me starting as early as May and finishing out the school year because there are 2 teachers going out on maternity leave then. On the other hand, one of my current professors suggested I apply to become a graduate assistant, meaning I would go to graduate school full-time and work in the Special Education department at the University assisting professors and helping in the field of research. It would be an awesome learning experience as I would present at state conferences and attend national ones. Plus, as a grad. assistant, my tuition is paid in full, and I would receive a small stipend for working. It’s not a huge amount of money, but it would help cover the cost of childcare while I am in school. Additionally, by attending full-time, I could finish my degree in 3 semesters rather than 6, saving me time and money. It’s definitely worth looking into and not surprisingly, TJ fully supported the idea.

So, if you think of it, please pray the Lord would open the necessary doors for me as to what He wants me to do and close others if it is not His will for my life. Both options sound promising and exciting, but I want to be in God’s will doing whatever it is He has planned. Also pray for me this week to have clarity of thought and a sound mind while taking my exams. Unfortunately, sometimes I get so nervous my mind draws a blank. I pray before every test I take, and often that helps to calm me. But, there are instances where I simply cannot recall the necessary information and leave items blank or incomplete. Because of the nature of the courses I am taking this semester, I need to do well as they are directly related to teaching.

Thanks for the support!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Last day of teaching :(

I have homework I need to do but I wanted to share about my last day of teaching.

I gave my mentor teacher a snowflake Christmas ornament. I also wrote a little poem to go with it, but my printer is out of paper so I just wrote a summary of it in her thank-you card. She loved it (it was basically about how her students are unique and go through life unnoticed by the world. Just as the crystals in the snowflake grow and expand, she helps her students to do the same). My mentor teacher planned a little party for me and we had lots of goodies (brownies, peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, and apple cider). The students each presented me with a card they decorated, and inside they wrote their favorite lesson I taught them. One student wrote about helping him with his exercises (we participated in a Pilates class), another wrote about using the phonebook (I taught several lessons on that topic!), a third wrote about cooking, another wrote about healthy foods (they learned planning meals, writing shopping lists, going shopping, & cooking), and the last student wrote about counting M&Ms. The pictures on the front and insides of the cards matched what they wrote about. They were all so sweet, and I am going to miss the students so much!

But, I am going Christmas shopping with them in 2 weeks so I’ll see them soon!



Counting M&Ms


Healthy foods (I love the chef with flippers!)



Phonebook lessons




Exercising on the mats (look at my big muscles!)



Baking cookies



The students and me!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

YAY!

I have submitted all of my projects/assignments with the exception of one, and it is due Thursday. I am still revising my lesson plans and tweaking the assessments, and I have a little bit of time left to get it to perfection before I have to submit it.

I found out about some of my final exams. Of my 6 classes, I have to take 5 finals. However, 1 is open-book/note/handout, and another is a case study about a fake student. I will be working in a small group to assess the fake student's behavior and present our strategies to the class. So, that only leaves 3 finals that I have to really study hard for. I will have to prepare for the open-book/note/handout exam in that I need to organize myself so that I can find my references when I need them. My instructor gave us a study guide last night in class and there is a ton of material I need to review and be prepared to answer questions about.

Thursday is my final day of student teaching for this semester. I am trying to figure out what to get my mentor teacher as a parting gift. Any suggestions?