Monday, November 23, 2009

my 2 favorite words

No, they are not bed.time.
My two favorite words are "of "and "because"...
I spell them a millions times a day.
Why? you ask.
1st graders think they are spelled like this...
b kuz
It makes sense.
Really it does.
But seriously?
One of these days it'll sink in...right around May and then I'll start my war-like effort against the two most common misspellings in 1st grade all over again in August.
Want to join me?
Stop by for a visit.
I want a t-shirt that says:
I make a difference b kuz I touched the life uv a child!
Have a great Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children an untruth. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. However, that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.
Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be unpleasant.
It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big 'F' at the top of his papers. At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she put Teddy's off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise.
Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, 'Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners.... he is a joy to be around..
'His second grade teacher wrote, 'Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.
'His third grade teacher wrote, 'His mother's death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn't show much interest, and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken.
'Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, 'Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class.
'By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of perfume. But she stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist.
Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, 'Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to.'
After the children left, she cried for at least an hour. On that very day, she quit teaching reading, writing and arithmetic.. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her 'teacher's pets..'
A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.
Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished highschool, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in his life.
Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honours. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favourite teacher he had ever had in his whole life.
Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favourite teacher he ever had. But now his name was al ittle longer.... The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.
The story does not end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he had met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs.Thompson might agree to sit at the wedding in the place that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom.. Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. Moreover, she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together.
They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear, 'Thank you Mrs. Thompson for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference.
'Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, 'Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach until I met you.'
(For you that don't know, Teddy Stoddard is the Dr.. at Iowa Methodist in Des Moines that has the Stoddard Cancer Wing.)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

chilly days are here to stay...

I know some people hate the chilly weather that comes around in the Fall, but I secretly love it. No, I don't want it to come before it's can stay away until late October, early November....but it helps us slow down. We spend more time together as a family. We start playing games again. Hang out in Vance's shop...or used to, before it became a giant litter box! We watch movies, bake cookies, and paint fingernails. So, although I love Summer and all the fun it brings, it is nice to relax a little, just be a family. Even though the weekends seem to fill up more quickly, with holiday celebrations and birthday, we still have every evening after work. The only "activity" my children are in right now is Emma dances on Mondays and both of them are in Awana on Wednesdays. It feels like such a sinful delight to be home Tuesday and Thursday evening. I love how God made seasons for us, in which we could have time to recuperate and revive ourselves. I can't imagine living in a place that didn't have all 4 seasons. I deeply need them all.
What do you do differently in the fall....?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Christmas List

We are very blessed....
so blessed in fact that we NEED nothing....
we, however know that the shopping season is upon us...
and I find it much easier to shop for some people when I have an idea of their WANTS.
This does not mean that this is a list to be checked off.
That kind of annoys me.
It makes me feel like people expect to get EVERYTHING on that list.
Nope, this is just a guide...
Some likes and dislikes...
Some ideas...
So here it goes:
Emma is still in love with most things. She enjoys writing on her dry erase board and can always use new EXPO markers. She has also found a new love for dresses, especially the ones that flair out when she spins. She is complaining about her toes being pinched in her shoes: so size 13 is probably in order for her. She also has a new love for the Disney princesses since our recent trip to Disney World. Anything art supply is a good and easy bet for her, she is constantly glues, drawing, cutting, tying, and sticking things. She loves to show off her artwork and create new things that are very outside the box. She needs nothing except maybe more tights because of how often she is wearing dresses. She wears a size 5 and we're leaning toward a 6 for somethings. Of course, anything she sees on t.v. is something she NEEDS and she falls in love with, but I try to stay away from "fad toys" and purchase things she can play with for a number of years. As far as her room goes, she has plenty of lights, she could use some storage though...and wall shelves.
Colby, oh Colby...he is the hardest child EVER to buy things for! Right now he's leaning toward camo clothing. He also LOVES athletic pants...and I have to really stay on top of the laundry for him to have some to wear everyday. He could also use some t-shirts, mainly long sleeved. He is wearing a size 9 pants (make sure they are adjustable we can cinch them, unless they're elastic waist). He still loves the animals from Tractor Supply and plays with them the most...I'm wondering if he wouldn't like a corral or something along those lines. He also loves anything John Deere....As for his room, we are decorating it with Indian/Cowboy stuff. He has a hatchet, Indian peace pipe, dream catchers, long horns, etc. He LOVES that stuff! He has plenty of lights, but also could use some storage help. He is also very much in love with hunting and trapping.
I am just looking for decorations. I would love some "timeless" decorations, like an all white nativity set, angels to leave up all year, and I love sayings. I am also thinking about starting a Christmas tree collection for every corner, nook, or cranny in my house and I'm reviving my village. I am on the hunt for the perfect oval mirror for my bathroom and a stool to sit on while doing my hair. It has to be a pretty tall stool, b/c my counters are tall. I am also looking for an oval/circle picture frame. You all know my decorating style, so if you feel the need to add to that, I'll let you!
Vance will have to add to this himself, but I know he loves a GOOD, HEAVY, DURABLE sweatshirt! He had one my mom bought him and he wears it immediately after I've washed it! He also is looking for good socks that don't stretch out when he wears them. I'll ask him out I can update this and then let you know when I do!
I would love some ideas from my family and friends as well. It makes things a little less stressful, when you have something to go on!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The many hats of a mother

Hats Off to Mother
My mother’s job is sometimes hard, and I have heard her say,“The hours are long, and if I could, I’d like to change the pay.”Her profession has variety, and I will tell you now about the many hats she wears—and why and when and how.
1. My mommy’s a nurse who fixes and patches all of my hurts and my sores and my scratches.
2. My mother’s a chef who fixes each dinner fit for a king—a blue-ribbon winner!
3. My mom’s a chauffeur who drives pretty slow but gets me to places where I need to go.
4. My mom’s a detective, and no one is greater at getting the truth from me sooner or later.
5. My mommy’s a gardener and works really hard,Planting and weeding and grooming our yard.
6. My mother’s a maid—at least that’s what she said—‘Cause she cleans up the house and makes every bed.
7. My mother’s an angel—a queen in disguise—Who teaches the gospel with tears in her eyes.

I hope the above is what my children remember when they are older, but boy am I struggling with all the hats I wear. I put my class on the bus and literally have 5 mins....10 if I wait in line for the bathroom, until I have to take of my teacher hat and put on my mom hat. As I walk my class out to the bus, I'm reminding them to bring this, do this, or wishing them a good evening. As I walk into my classroom after school, I am listening to "Hey mom, can come....?" It's exhausting.

Colby has been hanging out with Mrs. Garrett after school for 10-15 mins for a while now and now we've added Emma.....oh how I covet that time. Thank you Mrs. gives me time to just sit. and process. and relax.

After we get home, I add a chef, maid, and wife hat onto the top of my mommy hat. If I'm lucky, I might get to be a handyman and fix a toy, animal wrangler and catch a wayward dog, or put my teacher hat back on and help with homework.

I wouldn't change it for the world, and I know there are many people who would love to be blessed with a life as full as mine. Hopefully, this post will help me remember how blessed I am....even when my head is sagging from all the hats....

So even though I might be wearing my:

chauffeur hat,

chef hat,

maid hat,

nurse hat,

teacher hat,

cheerleader hat,

or friend hat,

I do know that I am blessed.

What hats do you wear?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

to video game or not to video game....

that is the question.

We have no video games in our house. None. Period. I wanted to keep it that way, but my son is obsessed. So obsessed that when he goes to someone's house thats all. he. wants. to. do. He is glued. Kind of like the kid that never gets candy and then comes over to your house and goes crazy. Or the child that never has pop until junior high and at a slumber party her eyeballst start to swim. I don't want him to be that kid. Sooooo, Santa is bringing a Wii. I want to teach him how to limit himself and learn self control before he is out in the real world...away from all my mothering opinions and knowledge. Hopefully, he and Emma will learn to not abuse a privilege and it will be a good tool for punishment. We don't really have anything to take away now, the things they enjoy the most are playing games with us and being read to. How do you tell your child that their punishment is no time with mom and dad? Granted, we have sent one to bed early when the behavior seemed appropriate and let the other one have more mommy/daddy/child time. I just don't want being ignored to be the punishment. Most negative behaviors stem from parent neglect in our house. I can usually tell that I have spent too much time on the phone or computer by how my children are acting.
Whew...I got off the subject.
What are your views on video games?
We will still not allow violent games into our home. Just racing, hunting, sports, etc.
We will also not allow hours upon hours of playing. Mostly in the winter months an hour before bed or on the weekend to let mom and dad sleep a little longer:)
That's the plan now, anyway.....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mom's Fix-It

In light of our recent bout of sickness, my husband has been exposed to a couple of things....
Salt Water
You don't know what they are either?
My mom used them to FIX EVERYTHING!
Sore throat?
Gargle with salt water
Tongue hurt?
Gargle with salt water
Get the debrox and cotton balls
Think you have a toothache?....nah it's just an earache
Get the debrox

ha ha!

No really.

Gargling does help, A lot!
I made my kids do it for the first time this past week. Vance just stood in the doorway and watched, mouth hung open. He had never heard of such a thing.

Then tonight, my ears are filled with fluid and driving me crazy, so I had him drop some debrox in them. He asked what it did? I dunno, it makes me feel better.

I asked him what his mom did for fix-its.....

He didn't know. Apparently not salt water or debrox....

Come on, Joyce, let us have it....what were your mom fix-its?

And my favorite from my mom.....

Are you ready for it?

Mom's now cringing, wondering what's going to come next.

Here it comes....

Tummy hurt?

Fart and get over it:)!

True story.

What are your mom fix-its?

A list of rules....

....they would seem like common sense to you, but you don't know what I know!

  • if you open it, CLOSE it!
  • if you wear it, at least have the decency to put it in the hamper!
  • if you use it, ...once again, muster the gumption to open the dishwasher and put it inside...not just set it on the counter for the fairies to take care of!
  • if you need it, take care of it.
  • if you clip you toenails, PUT THEM IN THE TRASH CAN!!!
  • if it's full, empty it.
  • if I'm grouchy, steer clear.
  • if it's dirty, wash it.....even the bathtub ring.
  • if it's hanging when you touch it, and it's not when you're done...what would you do?
  • if it's beeping, ringing, vibrating....ANSWER IT!

And finally...

  • if you gave birth to it, TAKE CARE OF IT...for pete's sake...

What would you add to my very eclectic list?