Random thoughts amid HOLIDAY madness!

Time to write.  HA! I look at this tab on my Firefox browser every morning and think–do it, just write something.  Anything.  I want to write, just never seem to find the time.  I have read a lot of blog posts lately.  Keeping my reader down to zero most nights.  (Back up to 83 this morning…but who’s counting?)  So I read a post last week about blending a blog between the personal and professional parts of your life.  That has been a hang up for me.  As a member of the National Writing Project and the tech liaison for the Upper Peninsula Writing Project (side note: the link to this site takes you to the UPWP site; it’s at the top of my to-do list for revision…just another thing…) there is a huge part of me that wants to use this space to journal, reflect and create writings based upon my personal life.  Chronicle the magic of my children, capture their voice, those comments and phrases that you swear you will never forget.  I have done some of that here.  I like that it is all in one place.  In my busy life as a single mom, less is more.  Keeping my writings all in one place prevents me from accumulating a pile of journals with one or two or three entries.  The other part of me wants this to be my venue for my professional life.  My platform for reflections, predictions and new ideas.  The beauty of it is…it can be both.  I can write poetry, post snapshots of my daily life and still post pieces I think contribute to the profession of teaching.  I just have to do it.  Steve Dembo’s 30 days project was inspiring, yet I only managed to pull off 2 or 3 days.  The wonderful thing, as he said, is that it is there, waiting, as a resource–anytime we have time to use it.  Maybe January 1st? or maybe March 15th? Who knows.  It will come- the time.

So where’s the random thoughts?

I received an email from our co-director regarding some health problems she is having.  I’m concerned.  Enough that I am hardly thinking about it.

My children giggled endlessly when our Christmas Elves brought them “Noise” putty last night…aka Fart Putty.  They were those silly giggles, playing off one and other…each time sending them into fits of laughter.  Lots of smiles. Lots of dreams–their imaginations astound me.

With their laughter I am comforted.  I know that despite some of the heartache in their lives, they are fine.

My students are taking the ACT/MME and making up a PLAN test today…random kids trying to increase their scores.  UGH–I want to say–don’t do it…forget it.  What matters most is how hard you work, how you create your own opportunities and seek out learning whenever you can.  A test score does not determine your worth, your value or your potential for success.  Those thoughts lead me to other thoughts about how we are preparing our students.  I loved these two blogs posts from Will Richardson and Karl Fisch. Both of them make me want to read more, learn more and write more.  I can’t help but think of my own children.  What can I do outside of our current school setting in order to prepare them?

I’m not done Christmas shopping.  List is sitting right in front of me as I type.  As I explained to my best friend last night at 10 o’clock. (She was returning my call as I put in a request for a black pair of dress shoes for my daughter.  Her’s were all too small!) I am off my game this year.  I am usually uber-prepared.  Everything ready for each of the next steps of the crazy holiday dance.  Not this year.  Off my game.

Last year this time I was infatuated with a new love.  He has since grown in to a dear, tried and true friend.  My wish for him in the new year is that he finds peace in his heart so that love in his home may again grow.  Simple, but oh so necessary. His talent lies in finding great music for me…(he has his own playlist!) and inspires me to work harder at the gym!

It is cold out.  Really cold lately in Negaunee.  Snowshoeing yesterday felt great…but it was cold.  I want to learn how to skate ski this winter.  Add to my winter activities, of which I believe we cannot possibly have enough.  Winter is about 75% of the year in this neck of the woods.  Might as well make the best of it.

One of my good friends lost his grandfather this week.  A huge presence in his life.  I’m sad for him as he says goodbye to this man who provided him with much love and inspiration.  I’m grateful for my grandmother.  Looking forward to spending time with her this Christmas.

Speaking of family…I love Facebook and how it has reconnected me with cousins all over the country.  Not just cousins, I gues,s but important people in my life that I have lost touch with.  Connections are powerful.   I think that people that haven’t experienced the connections that social networking sites provide cannot (nor should not) contribute their feelings as to their value or harm. There is something powerful in this crazy world knowing that people care; that people are feeling, doing, experiencing the same things (both good and bad) that you are.

Ending the madness? Simplify.  I have vowed to simplify.  Take each day as it comes.  My kids will get more fruit in their stockings.  We will play more games.  Slow down.  Color and paint more.  There will be less presents under the tree, but more of the spirit in our home.  The need for that is greater than any battery operated toy or new fangled object. I think we will pull out albums, look at pictures, watch movies from when they were “little” and spend more time playing with our cousins.  Life is good. Really good.

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