August just flew by

August just seemed to fly by this year.  Between getting ready for back to school, marching band camp for my youngest, taking her to Des Moines for a 14 day stint at the Iowa State Fair (I should probably take some time to write about the Iowa State Fair), two trips to the state fair myself, visiting a couple of friends in Ames, and starting back to school, I am surprised that I was able to get anything done.  Let’s check on how I did with my summer goals:

Goal # 1

I managed to read 8 books this month.  Not bad considering all of the driving I was doing, plus the days spent at the State Fair. Overall I did manage to read 21 books this summer, not too shabby considering everything else going on.  I have fallen behind my goal but should be able to get caught up with the school year starting.

Books I read were:

Revolution

The Runaway Brida and the Orphaned Twins

Forever Cherished

The Christmas Play

Booked

So. B. It

A Prayer for Owen Meany

Last Summer at Eden

Goal # 2

Crafting Time: I didn’t get much crafting time at all in August, I was either on the road or just plain exhausted much of the time.  This should pick up more this fall again.

Goal # 3

DeClutter this house.  Nope, not much of that happened at all, besides the flooding of the basement in July. This seems to be an ongoing process as I slowly go through things and try to get stuff organized.

Goal # 4

Filing, I really hate to do this, but it looks like I should just force myself to sit down and get it down.  I could probably get totally caught up and a bunch of stuff thrown away which would help Goal # 3 if I would just spend a few hours doing this chore.  Anyone want to come and sit with me while I work on the filing?

Goal # 5

Writing More, totally gave up on this goal.  I did manage to get a couple of blog posts down this summer, but that is about it.  I need to tear myself away from the computer and Facebook and spend some time just writing.

Goal # 6

School stuff, I did manage to get a few extra things done and ready for school to start but no matter how hard I try, I can never seem to be 100% ready by the first day of classes.  Guess that there is always next year.

Thinking that maybe I should take some time and come up with a few fall goals, even though several if not all of my summer goals will make it to the fall goals list.

 

So what kinds of goals do you have for this summer.

Reflections

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Today, I had a few different ideas of what to write about.

1. Family time

2. My eye, something is in it and it hurts.  When the eye hurts, I just don’t feel right.

3. Homework and Late policy

4. Finding a way to motivate my freshman

5. Reflecting on the process this month.

I require my students to write for 10 minutes at the beginning of class.  We call this time Sacred Writing Time.  I even purchased some really cool slides. Many of my students look forward to the information on these slides.  Participating in the SOL 17 helps me to understand and appreciate what my students struggle with often.  Most days I had something to write about, but yes there were a few days when I had trouble coming up with a topic.  Usually, once I started typing something would come to me.  There were a few days, however, where writing truly was a chore.  Hopefully, now I will be able to understand when my students are struggling with this process.  I also found however that writing became a way to reduce my stress, a way to gather my thoughts and in some cases realize that what was bothering my wasn’t all that bad.

Because of this, I plan on writing more often.  I am trying to decide if I want to shot for one or two days a week at least.  Maybe more, when I have something to say.  At least for the next month, I will be writing 6 days a week as I plan on participating in the A-Z blogging challenge #AtoZChallenge.  

2017 Badge

So much to do.

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The night before leaving, all the creatures in the house (2 legged) were frantically packing and getting ready to leave.  With all of the commotion, you would think that we are going on a three-week vacation, instead of just traveling west for a couple of hours so that our youngest can interview for state 4-H council Saturday morning.  In all fairness, my husband has had track meets, church/choir practice, and a soccer match every night this week.  Thankfully they canceled the JV match due to the weather and he was able to come home early.  Youngest DD helped her dad at the track meets so came home late and then last night she had a choir concert. While we are going to be gone for only one night, there is so much to do and make sure things get packed.

  1. Kristen’s business Casual outfit (needed for the interview)
  2. Camera to take a picture of her wearing the outfit.  She plans on using this as her $15.00 challenge outfit also.
  3. Black heeled shoes for outfit
  4. Interview information and map to building on campus.
  5. Clothing for dad and mom
  6. a computer so that I can finish my final SOL tomorrow night.
  7. Chargers for all electronics
  8. Swimming suit, so I can go sit in the whirlpool. Can’t wait to do this.
  9. Most importantly a couple of books for me to read during the 3-hour cruise, I mean drive. And of course, while waiting for the interviewee to finish up.
  10. Ok, maybe I should also take a credit card for the hotel, cash so we can eat, and other essentials.

And then, of course, we need to make sure that the 4 legged family members are taken care of.  Having a friend come spend time with them, feed and water then, and give the one lots of attention. The other one will basically ignore the family friend.

 

So much work just so that we can be gone for a little over 24 hours.  And of course, everything needs to be ready and packed before we leave for school tomorrow.  We will leave from school as soon as I am done.

So looking forward to this night and the chance to get away as a family for such a short time span.

Continuing on

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Now that I am back in the habit of writing, I am going to try and participate in the A-Z blogging challenge.  I did this last year with the theme of book reviews. Surprisingly I was able to come up with a book that I had read for almost every letter.  This year I was having a hard time coming up with a theme, but I think I have finally figured out what I am going to write about.  My theme or goal this year will be to find a quote for every letter of the alphabet that speaks to me.  After sharing my quote I hope to be able to talk about why the quote speaks to me, or what it is that I like about the quote.  If you want to join me as I continue this writing exercise for the next month.

 

Worth the $

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Keeping my house clean while working full time, with a husband and two girls that were active has always been a struggle for me.  So a couple of years ago I jumped on the bandwagon of paying someone to come clean my house twice a month for me.  While my house is still not perfect yet, let me tell you there is nothing better than coming home and walking into a clean house.  Unless of course, I was smart enough to put supper in the crockpot.  Then I come home to a clean house and supper almost done.  Coming home to a clean house every couple of weeks, helps to motivate me to get it organized.  Sadly, however, that is taking longer than I would like.  But I will get my house put together and in the meantime, Thanks so much to the person who comes in and cleans my house.

Can we all win?

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If the game of life ended today would you be a winner?  I saw this quote the other day.  It was the opening line to a book my daughter is reading for one of her college classes, The Winner’s Manual by Jim Tressel.  She found this quote to be very interesting, enough so that she had to bring it to my attention.

As I have thought about and pondered this quote, I have wondered what does it mean to be a winner in the game of life?  I am sure that the answer will vary depending on the person who is asked.  I am sure that if you are a coach or athlete it would probably be something along the lines of the number of games you have won. I am sure for others it might be how much money or stuff that they have accumulated.

In the scheme of life are any of these things really important?  Is there something more important that we need to be shooting for?  Should we always be striving to win the game of life?  My brother commented that winning would be mean that there is someone else that has to lose.  Is it possible for all of us to win?

So what do you think?  Is it possible to win? Can we all be winners?

De-stressing today

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What I have been waiting for and longing for, for over a month now has finally come and gone.  I love it when I have a free Saturday.  It is so nice to be able to stay at home, sleep in (I wish) and take it easy in the morning. Then able to do whatever I want with the rest of the day.  Today, was the day.  Husband and DD 1 left for Iowa City and a conference (and of course DD 1 to head back to her apartment).  DD 2 and I had the day at home with nothing pressing.  We straightened up a few things and then watched my favorite TV show ( Pioneer Women, I haven’t seen this show for over a month) Finally heading to my craft room for some peace and quiet.  I was able to go through a few things, sorting and purging.  My goal is to get my space organized, cleaned up and less cluttered this year.  It was so nice to have that time to relax, listen to music, sort, create and generally de-stress.  I honestly think that there should be one day every week dedicated to days like today.  Sadly as much as I try, it doesn’t always happen.  Many times I am lucky to get one day a month like this.   My DD 2 and I enjoyed a nice lunch at Pizza Ranch (no cooking, no dishes, and we love their chicken).  Now she is baking cookies for a County Council meeting/pizza party tomorrow night and then some homemade hot fudge on Ice Cream to top off the day.

Yes, we all need more days like this.

Tonight’s Entertainment

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My youngest daughter lives for the stage. So much so that she has tried out for the school’s talent show or JV show every year since 6th grade except for one.  (Elementary school didn’t have a talent show when she was there). Last year she made the JV show, but then proceeded to get fall and hurt her knee during dress rehearsal the night before the show.  Since she was hurt last year, this is the first high school JV show that we have attended.  All I am going to say about the night was that the dancers at the beginning were very good and it was an interesting night.

To read or Not to read

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For as long as I can remember I have enjoyed reading.  I remember being so excited to finally go to first grade.  This was the year that I would finally learn to read.  And yes, we learned to read with Dick and Jane and of course all of the rest of their family and friends.  I was so thrilled when I finally learned to read.  I read everything I could get my hands on.  Towards the end of first grade or the beginning of second grade, I discovered Little House on the Praire.  My grandmother had the book sitting around and I picked it up to read it.  I remember being told that the book was too hard for me and I wouldn’t be able to read it.  Of course, that was just the motivation that I needed to read the book.  The librarian from our small town library would often tell me that I couldn’t get books from a certain area because I wasn’t old enough to read the book yet.  Once again, I had to show that yes I can indeed read and understand these books.  From then on, I think I always had a book.  Fast forward to 8th grade when my English teacher once again told me that the book was too hard for me.  There is no way that you will be able to understand Animal Farm by George Orwell he told me.  I did read that book and while I didn’t understand all of the concepts that the book touched on, I do remember understanding it enough to get my English teacher to admit that yes, I was able to read the harder books.

I wish we could motivate students to want to try and read the harder books now.  My high school freshman and sophomores are more than willing to settle for what they consider “easy books”  Magic School bus, Magic Tree House, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, etc.  I will admit that it is fun to read these books, but I would really like to see my students push themselves to read books that are a bit more challenging, that will take them out of their comfort zone, etc.  (Don’t get me wrong, I have many strong readers, but would love to see all of my students pushing themselves to be better). Guess in some cases I should be thrilled that they even open a book as I do have other students that work really hard at NOT reading. So frustrating.  So many don’t see the need or benefit of being able to read in their adult lives.

Something needs to change.  We need to find a way to get all kids to want to read and to read to the best of their ability not settling for mediocre.