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

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’


As I working with kids at the rainbow table, other kids were reading together, reading alone and I can hear a small group having a conversation about the book Dinosaurs Before Dark.  There are 5 kids around the book.  2 have read it and are showing the other 3 kids passages from the book.

They were holding their very own book talk.

I think nothing of the conversation.  We talk about books all the time.  We share books.  We LOVELOVELOVE read aloud time.  I could read aloud all day. (Heck, I could read all day.  Oh wait.  I think I have done that in my lifetime.)

Kids rotate in and out of the rainbow table.  We get our work done early and head out for extra recess.  It’s Friday afternoon after a LONG week and I am in lala land.  We are the only class on the playground.

I can hear kids talking about Jack and Annie. Same 5.  They are re-enacting scenes from the book.  They have created a game surrounding the book.  They are pretending to hold a book in their hands and are spinning around and around and around until they land in dinosaur time.  Some of the kids are dinosaurs that Jack and Annie are chasing all over the playground.

They proceed to play for 30 minutes.

There are no words to describe how I felt as I was watching this whole scene play out.  I am still just amazed what went on during that recess today.  As we were heading into the building, I could hear them making plans for Monday’s recess.

Moments such as this are why I show up each day to teach kids. #justsayin’

Did I…

Forget to write yesterday?  Why, yes.  Yes, I did.  After a whirlwind of a day, I slunk into bed 10:30ish and moments later, realized that I had not posted.  I couldn’t get out of bed to post.

Good thing I am not writing each day to get a prize. Why am I writing?

I am writing to remember.

I am writing to relax.

I am writing because I like to write.

I am writing to improve.

I am writing to learn.

I am writing to share my story.

I am writing slow my thoughts.

I am writing because I am a writer.

Why are you writing?

10 Things Right Now

I borrowed this idea from here.

10 things right now:

  1. I am currently watching One Tree Hill on Netflix.  I am on season 7 and I just watched the episode where Haley’s mom dies.  Saddest. Episode. Ever.
  2. Those Sonic commercial guys crack me up. I have seen those commercials a bazillion times and I still laugh. My husband just rolls his eyes.
  3. I like seeing what the CBS sportscasters are wearing.  Suits, shirts and ties are something that I like seeing put together.  And Charles Barkley is hilarious.
  4. Even though we aren’t getting together with my husband’s family, I still made my nephew cut-out sugar cookies. He’s 25.
  5. The Dollar General has been having random hardback books by really great authors (like Lee Childs, Sandra Brown, Stuart Woods and Sue Grafton) for $3. Today I gave in and bought one.  I mean it’s $3!!
  6. I managed to make everything we need for our Sunday dinner today.
  7.  I could watch TV all day.
  8. One thing that binge watching TV series allows me to do is catch a lot of references to things that I might not catch if I was watching it weekly.  Today I noticed that the writers of One Tree Hill make references to other movies and books in almost every episode. It’s very subtle. Today there was a reference to Dead Poet’s Society.
  9. I took a 2 hour nap today.  I am pretty sure I could do that every day.
  10. I walked away from school with nothing.  It will all still be there when we return to school on Monday.  Pretty darn proud of myself.

All is Well

Yesterday in Kansas it was 80 degrees.  The wind was blowing a bazillion miles an hour and there was dirt and dust blowing everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Recess was sketchy because we have some tiny kids in first grade who were in danger of blowing away. Eyes were filled with dust.  Teeth were gritty. We were filthy dirty.  We were happy, but we were dirty.

It made me think about people who lived through the Dust Bowl and how every day would have been incredibly challenging. When I arrived home, a few of my tulips had bloomed. It was the happiest sight for me! Tulips are some of my favorite flowers and these are very dainty.

Normally I wouldn’t cut them.  These are not normal times.  Weather forcasters were telling us to prepare for snow.  I did not want my tulips to be taken from me too soon by snow, so I cut them.  And it did snow overnight.  We woke up to a wind chill of 16 degrees and a very overcast sky. The sun came out later in the day, it warmed up and the wind is only blowing a zillion miles an hour.

It’s kind of like me–my outsides might not be so beautiful but on the inside all is well and beautiful (and yes, that’s my oven it is pink–I have matching push button stove).