On this Monday….

I am thankful for…..

a snooze button.

waking up to only one notification from Twitter about the craziness in the White House.

purple nail polish.

two little girls who magically turn 5 today.

time.

not needing my winter coat.

the forethought to pack a week’s worth of lunches yesterday so I could write this morning.

the George Winston station on Pandora.

17 little smiling faces that I will see later this morning.  At least I hope they will be smiling.

friends who are family.

being able to walk outside with no coat, gloves or hat.  Can you tell I hate winter?

health insurance.

this Monday.  May it be a glorious and peaceful day for all.  #justsayin’

 

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Some Days

 

I headed down 5th street towards my errands.  2 blocks from home, a red truck pulls out in front of me going. point. five. miles. an. hour.  Ohhhhhhhhh.  I am lucky enough to follow the red truck for about 10 blocks.

I wanted to be mad.

And yet, moving that slow allowed me to see all things that are blooming in the world. I also was able to see how beautiful the day was with the sun shining and the wind blowing.  And people were out walking.  And waving.  And smiling AT ME.

No mad feelings can happen when that much joy is in the world.

As I pull into the DG (Dollar General–I live in a small town.  We have about 3500 people in our county) there are 4 people mosey-ing out of the store.  There are no empty slots for me to pull in to–I must wait for them to find their car, unload their cart and return it to the store.  Only then do they all load into the car to leave and I can park my car.

I wanted to be mad.

And yet, waiting for them gave me time to see that this foursome was made up of 2 adult children whom had brought their aging parents to the DG.  My heart swelled with love at the sight of this foursome–they were strangers to me, and yet, in that time I saw what I hoped would be my future.  My adult children caring for me in a patient and kind way.

No mad feelings can happen when that much love is in the world.

I head to the grocery store where I was greeted by a young man who had seen me pull into the parking lot and was waiting with a cart all ready to go just for me.  He had a hearty, genuine welcome for me.  I had hope in my heart for the future of this world .

Slow down, People.  Look for the good.  It’s out there.  #justsayin’

 

**Update to yesterday’s slice….today when I drove by my friends house he was there!  I didn’t see him at first, but my daughter saw his little face in the window.  I was able to leave the sack of goodies with him and some homemade cookies as well.  I am pretty sure the electricity is not on–yet–but he was well.  I will check on the electricity tomorrow–it is not cold here, thank goodness.

 

Food for Thought

A new little person joined our school family in mid-February.  Admittedly, I wasn’t overjoyed at the addition to my little school family.  It wasn’t my turn.  It was somebody else’s turn–only it’s never another person’s turn.  I had a lot going on in my classroom it wasn’t fair to this little person to add him.

Nobody listened.  Nobody heard.

Except Someone did.

It has been my feeling for quite some time that God places the kids I need in my classroom each year–not the kids who need me–the kids I need.

He has a plan for me.  He wants me to be more.

Placing this little person in my care upset our apple cart.  The second day he was with us I heard one of the friends lean over to him and say, “We don’t do that here.  You need to stop.” Later, another friend, while in reading group with a different teacher, told him “We don’t do that in The Hays Team.”

Both friends were gentle and kind with the words they shared.

He was in chaos.  He wanted to be hugged and loved.  He was hungry. I hugged him and there have been times when I have been VERY firm with him.  I fed him. I loved him. On his third day with me he dropped the information that ‘George’ had taken the long, long, long way home.

“What does that mean? The long way home?”

He replied, “Well he went on Wednesday to get something and he hasn’t come back.” Quick calculation: Wednesday was 5 days ago.

Oh.

On his fourth day with us, George returned.  Only to leave again with his mom’s money. And he knew how much George had taken for ‘gas’.

“He sure drives a lot, Ms. Hays.  He must have a lot of places he needs to go.”

Yeah.

On Wednesday of this week he informed me that he was getting a new house.  It was behind Wendy’s.  He was very, very excited because this was a ‘nice’ place.  On Thursday, he was pretty sure they would get to sleep in the new place.  On Friday, he let me know that they had not slept there because George was gone again with the truck and they could not move the beds.

Today I picked up things a 6-year-old boy would like to eat: peanut butter, jelly, bread, cosmic brownies, Cheetos, Pringles and Oreo’s.  I also stuck in some cheese crackers, trail mix and granola bars.  My plan was to drop them at his new place.

I did not find him at his new place.  Twice. I checked his old place.  Twice. No sign.

I will check again tomorrow.  #justsayin’

 

 

 

 

Amazed

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’

Red Shoes

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As I entered the hallway this morning, I was greeted with that distinct clickety-clack sound high heels make on a tile floor.

As I looked down the hallway expecting to see a grown-up, I was greeted by a smiling 7- year-old wearing the best shoes ever.  Winter coat, gloves and these shoes.

Later I would see her and realize she was wearing exercise pants with a matching top–that did not match these red shoes.  And she was proud.

And so was I.

She wore them all day…and she ran at recess and she played basketball and she played the star wars game and she went about the day as if the whole world should be wearing red shoes.

And you know what?  Maybe we should.  #justsayin’

 

 

News

Today when my wrist vibrated I knew it wasn’t an ESPN update.  It wasn’t CNN telling me that something else ridiculous had been said out loud by our fearless leader. It wasn’t a snapchat.

It was our accountant.  Answer?  In the split second it took for me to locate my phone I decided I would answer.

Yikes.  His news wasn’t favorable.  We owe 4 digits to the IRS.  WHAT!?!

I thought I was going to cry.  And I did cry later.

Apparently when your kids graduate from college and get real jobs you are supposed to make changes to your ‘STUFF’.

Adulting is hard.  #justsayin’

One Little Word

I have been thinking and over thinking and thinking and over thinking about life.  Probably because the over thinking is who I am and more likely because this is the year I turn 50 years old.

50.  So many people are mortified by that number: I am not.

I am amazed by that number.  I had no idea I would live to be 50 years old. Who knew that there would be so many things that would be different from when I was a kid?  And yet, so many things are still the same.

When I was choosing my one little word, I thought about what I like to do–not what I am good at or can do at the drop of a hat….what do I like to do?

Write.

I like to write.  Nothing fancy, nothing to write home about (LOL’ing at that) or anything that I would send off for publication.  Just writing.  I like to write my name, I like to write notes, I like to copy quotes, I like to practice my handwriting, I like to write about food, I like to write about my daily life, I like to write thank you notes, I like to make lists.  I like to write.

It became clear to me that in my 50th year of life my one little word is: write.

 

Made It!

I made 30/31 days writing this month!  GO ME!!

There were days I wasn’t sure I had anything in me to write and days I couldn’t decide which story to tell and days on days of paying closer attention to the life around me so I could write.

And then there were days like today.

I sent my kids to lunch and headed to warm up my lunch.  I have taken about 2 bites when the secretary sticks her head in and says those dreaded words every teacher hates to hear:

‘You have a puker.’

Up I go to retrieve his things so he can head out for the day. Dad is on his way. As I make my way into the nurses station, I see my friend sitting up looking fine.  Just. Like. He. Had. All. Morning. I gave him the usual questions…are you ok? how long had you felt bad? And so on. He gave me the stink eye.

When I picked my class up from lunch, everyone let me know that our friend had puked.

The friend that sat on the right of the puker said, ‘Yeah. I thought..WOW He has a lot of food on his tray! Turns out it was PUKE!!’

The friend that sat on the left of the puker said, ‘I let the lunchroom lady know that we had a ‘situation’ and needed some help.’ (Puke is an emergency in our room followed closely by fire and blood)

Turns out the puker had managed to only puke in his lunch tray.  He didn’t get any puke anywhere else. Impressive.

but. oh. my.

We went to extra recess.  We were so hyped up we had to run it out. And when we returned to the room, we Clorox wiped every surface.

Yeek.  I hate puke.  Just sayin’.

Today

Today I observed my class wearing…..

Fake Ugg boots with a summer dress.

Orange shirt. Orange shorts. Orange socks. All different shades of orange, of course.

Athletic shorts with a plaid shirt.

T-shirt that was longer than the skirt she paired it with.

Tall black socks with long black shorts.

Pink shirt. Pink pants. Pink jacket.

Winter coat with flip flops.

Today I heard my class saying….

Could you please talk quietly? I am trying to finish this book.

We work first, then play.

You have only used your teacher voice about 10 times today, Ms. Hays! And it’s been all for the same person!! (not the best thing I wanted to hear)

I knew you had a treat for us today!

If the word begins with the same letter, you have to look at the second letter. ( and she showed him how to line up the word so he could compare)

I found a dime under your desk.

You cannot do that.  You know that’s not how we roll. (and she stopped to help her friend who was having a rough time)

4 kids having a conversation about how a baby gets food when it’s inside its moms tummy.

Kids singing along to TSwift.

Today I felt….incredibly lucky to be their teacher.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joys and Concerns

I think I have mentioned that in my classroom we have a family meeting each morning where we share announcements, joys and concerns.

Yesterday we began our day with a bazillion ‘for Easter, I got…’ announcements. As we began to share joys and concerns, I had a little boy who was dyyyyyyyyyying to share.

‘We need to have concerns for our church.’

‘Can you give a little more information?’

‘Oh yes. Yesterday for church we could NOT go inside the building. We had to stay outside. It was dark and cold. I do not know why we couldn’t go in. But it’s bad. So we need concerns.’

‘Do you think it might have been Sunrise Service since it was Easter? Church was held outside to celebrate?’

‘NO! We couldn’t go in for any reason. It’s bad. We need concerns.’

At this point, I concede and offer up good thoughts for our friends church. Another friend who attends the same church, looks at him and says:

‘It was fine when I went.’

I have absolutely no idea what he was talking about.  Still don’t.  But in the spirit of joys and concerns I offered it up. Just sayin’.