One Little Word

My OLW for 2017 is write.  And then life happened.

Reflecting on my writing, I really probably did write something every day–an email, a thank you note, a message to my kids.  It certainly hasn’t been what I thought it would be.

Life never is.

When I decided to go off the grid for #sb2017 (spring break 2017), I did not know it would last until June.  I mean #sb2017 did NOT last that long, unfortunately, but going off the grid for my writing did.  Going off the grid for that 10 days included all social media, email and blogs.  I don’t think I opened my computer that whole 10 days.

Here is what I found: I spend too much time on the unimportant.  I had over 500 emails in that 10 days between my school account and my personal account. And I knew had too many when about 10 0F THEM WERE IMPORTANT and I could delete the other 490 without opening them.

I slowly began the process of unsubscribe, delete and focusing on the 10 while skipping the 490.

Because life happens.  And I want to be a part of the 10, not the 490.  #justsayin’



10 Thing Thursday

  1. Totally and completely forgot to write yesterday.  Woke up from a dead sleep at 9 pm and realized it.  Too tired to do anything about it.
  2. Kids last day was today.  They said, ‘See you in 10 days, Hays! Hey that rhymes!’
  3. I ‘get’ to present to adults at 8:30 tomorrow morning.  Ugh.  Not a fan of presenting to adults.
  4. I have 4 closets to clean out over spring break and 4 books to read.  Hmmm….wonder which one will get done?
  5. This time is my favorite weekend of basketball season.
  6. Currently I am counseling a good friend whose son is suffering from skin affliction.  I am an expert rash diagnoser.
  7. Friday suppers for Lent are challenging this year.
  8. Our 3 Kansas basketball teams play tomorrow night at nearly the same time.  I am gunning for all our TV’s to be hauled into the living room so we can see all 3 play.
  9. Even though I don’t like Duke, I picked them as National Champions.
  10. Kansas weather today was crazy.  It was 50 degrees at morning recess but felt like 33 (and it was freaking COLD) and it was 72 degrees at afternoon recess and felt like 78. Welcome to Kansas. #justsayin’


Alas, I did not get chosen for jury duty.

It was a very interesting process.  It certainly doesn’t work like it does on TV. Much, much slower and the judge wasn’t nearly as contrary as they are on TV. There were 35 of us called to today and 7 of us attend the same church.  I thought that was interesting.

Other interesting things: We had to report between 8:30 and 8:45 but were not called into the courtroom until 9:15. A father and daughter were called as prospective jurors and were chosen to serve on the jury. The questions we were asked made me chuckle.  Things like do you know this witness? Well, yes.  I have known him his entire life. Are you a close personal friend of anyone on the jury? Well, yes. 2 of my very close friends were there today. Do any of the prospective jurors work together? Well, yes. The school secretary and I work at the same school. Do any members of your family work in law enforcement? Well, no.

And so and so on.  I had no idea that any of those things were asked to prospective jurors.  I think I have watched way too much TV courtroom dramas and was seriously expecting the whole process to look like Law and Order.  #justsayin’

Jury Duty

About a month ago I got the letter.  I had been selected for jury duty.  After much eye rolling and grumbling, I decided that there wasn’t much I could do other than to show up and hope I wasn’t chosen.

Well a month passes quickly and tomorrow is the day I must report for my civic duty.  I am torn–I think this will be an interesting process and I will probably learn a lot. On the other hand I am supposed to be at a meeting to discuss our ELA adoption and I am DARNED excited about this process.

I am concerned that I won’t be chosen for jury duty due to the fact that almost everyone who is on trial has been in one of my classes or could have a child in my current class.  Also, almost all of our trials have involved drugs and I am sure this one will not be an exception. It’s really hard on my heart to watch people who are suffering from the effects of drug addiction.

I don’t really want to miss the ELA adoption discussion either.  It’s kind of a big deal that I was chosen and we haven’t had an ELA adoption for about 12 years.  Plus, the thought of a real lunch is so enticing.

I believe this is what my mom would call a rock and a hard place. #justsayin


No Regrets

Last month my husband and I took a day trip to our state museum of history.  Neither of us had ever been.  We have always lived in this state and it seemed ridiculous that we had never taken the time to see our amazing history.


As kids, my mom took us places such as this if we could get in free.  My husband is one of six kids–five of which are boys.  They are lucky to have lived let alone have gone to a museum. But it prompted us to look back on our children’s lives.

I have always thought that admitting I had regrets was saying what I did was wrong. Maybe. Maybe not.  As we continued our conversation, we realized that we wish we had done one thing differently.

We wish we’d skipped the traveling sports teams and spent that time going to museums, libraries, zoos, parks and places.  We talked for quite awhile about why we chose to let them play.  We knew better.  We were caught up in a cycle that we had total control over.

Why didn’t we say no?  Were we worried what people would think if we said no thank you? Were we worried that our kids wouldn’t have friends if they didn’t play?  We knew our kids weren’t going to college on an athletic scholarship.  Was playing on that team about us or about them? Playing on those teams did not make them better players or better people for that matter. What were we hoping to gain from those experiences?  We certainly could not afford it and yet, we did it anyway.


Here’s my message for parents of small children who are thinking of signing up to play on one of those teams: skip it.

Go to the museum. Take that weekend trip to a zoo.  Stay home and play games. Cook. Go to Grandma’s. Bake cookies and take to shut-ins.

Do we regret letting our kids play? No. We were always with them and we went as a family.  We like watching sports together now and often have family fantasy leagues.  Our NCAA brackets will be filled out by morning. When our team won the World Series it was like we had won the World Series.

I just wish we had done it differently.  #justsayin’


My Language 

My love language is food.  I don’t even know if that is one of the love languages because I haven’t read that book.  I just know that if I love you, I make you food.

When my grandma and my mom let me help them in the kitchen, they gave me an incredible gift.  And when they taught me to make noodles over the phone, I definitely found my love.

My kids always chose homemade meals for birthday dinners.  We always had Sunday dinner after church.  For years I made cookies every Sunday night.

I make cookies once a month and deliver them to random people.  This is the best day of the month for me.

Today I made homemade beef and noodles, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn and homemade bread.  I was going to make fruit salad but forgot to put the stuff on my list so the ingredients did not get purchased.

Tonight’s love was for my son-in-law.  He has a new job that starts on Monday and he will be gone for 2 weeks at a time.  For now, my daughter is staying put while they see if this job works out.  Eventually she may move.  We are crossing one bridge at a time.  No borrowing trouble here (said in my most bravest voice ever).

Making food for others brings me great joy.

Yes. That stove is pink.  And has push buttons.  #justsayin


On Thursday, we took our end of module assessment in math.  I had kids working at the rainbow table who needed extra support and kids working on their own around the room.  

I had kids who were in tears.  I stopped everyone and reminded them that we do not cry over math.  We cry when our grandma dies or our dog is sick.  A little guy pipes up to add it’s OK to cry when you have an injury and there is lots of blood.  WE DO NOT CRY OVER MATH.

I am alternating hanging out at the rainbow table and circulating the room.  As I stoop to help a little person, I hear a screeching voice shout the words, ‘STOP PEEKING AT MY PAPER!’

Suffice it to say what followed was not my finest 15 minutes.

Upon immediate reflection, I realized I had made a terrible mistake. Upon further reflection, I realized I had not listened to what my little person was saying.  I had not asked enough questions.  I had acted irrationally.

Here is where I could list all the reasons I did what I did.

It comes down to this: When I am asking too much of my kids and myself, meltdowns such as this occur.

Today I asked for forgiveness and was granted grace by a 7-year-old girl who has the heart the size of Texas.  #justsayin




Ten Thing Thursday

I borrowed this idea from this Slicer.  It was just what I needed on a long, busy day.

  1. I live about 1.5 miles from my school.
  2. Today I had on one outfit and then remembered our HS girls were going to play in a state tournament game so I changed my outfit to a school spirit outfit at 7:31 when I had wet hair, no make-up and needed to leave for school in 14 minutes.
  3. Cookies are my power pellets.
  4. I could watch basketball all day long.
  5. I can hardly stand to see kids treated unfairly.
  6. This weather has been crazy.
  7. Why are so many of our twenty-somethings addicted to crack?
  8. How many of my school kids are going home to unsafe situations?
  9. My weekend plans are to get my end of quarter grades done and 2 weeks worth of lesson plans done so that I can have a school free spring break.
  10. I have an apology to offer tomorrow to a student.


P.S. I was at school standing in my classroom at 7:55.  Pretty impressive.

Some Days

Today was quite the day.  I had to be at school 30 minutes sooner than usual.  I had to present to staff. I had a few moments to breathe before I had to pick up my kids.

My kids were on fire when I picked them up from the gym.  Not on fire in a good way.  It’s never a good thing when the morning supervisor wishes you a hearty GOOD LUCK in her most sarcastic voice as you pass her.

Everything took ten times longer than it should have taken.  Everybody needed to talk at once.  The math lesson was completely ridiculous.  We lined up and ran a lap.  We drank water.  Tattletale on tattletale happened.  I chucked it and we went to recess.

Life was somewhat better when we returned.  Or so I thought.

We headed to lunch.

Lunch helped us. We read aloud. We went to centers.  We are transitioning to the fluency part of our day when a girl randomly looks at me and says:

‘Mrs. Hays, what’s that thing you are wearing called?’

‘A dress.’

‘Uh. Yeah. I like it.’

Thanks.  And the day went from there.  #justsayin’


Overheard in my classroom…..

“What’s your favorite natural disaster?”

“Well….I can’t decide.  I really like tornados.  I haven’t been in a hurricane but I think I would like a hurricane.”

“What’s yours?”

“A volcano?”

“Well, I might like earthquakes the best.  Earthquakes happen all the time and we don’t even know it.  And earthquakes can cause a volcano to erupt.”

And the conversation continued for about another 15 minutes.

It was awe-inspiring. #justsayin’