Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Are You Going To Have More Children?

Are you going to have more children?

It's an innocent questions.  No one means any harm when they ask. But...

There are so many "buts" here.

But it becomes a problem when my answer isn't what you think it should be.

But it becomes a problem when you give me your opinion and won't stop after I've given my standard answer which is a bit of a joke and a bit serious all at the same time.

But it's a problem when you don't know that maybe there is a medical reason for the amount of children we have.  And maybe.  Just maybe.  You're bringing up issues that aren't pleasant.

But it's a problem because it's a husband and wife decision and your opinion on what we do in my family is irrelevant.

But it's a problem because really it's not your business.

I'm not a very private person.  I don't mind tell you most things about me.  But some things that I tell you about myself make you uncomfortable.  And I know that.  So I try to take that into consideration when answering questions that really aren't you business but I really don't mind discussing.

It's been years since I've been asked if we were going to have more children.  Probably since Reagan was 7 or 8 years old (she's now 13).  Until last week.

Last week I was asked if we were going to have more children....

What I wanted to say was "No! No, we are not having more children.  Reagan's 13.  I'm 40!  You can't be serious by asking me that question."  What I said was "Haha! Nope, we're not."

When Reagan was younger, back when it would of been "normal" for us to have more children.  I was asked this constantly.  No one meant any harm.  It's a natural question.  Even if it's a bit invasive.

I never quiet knew how to answer though.

Because the real answer made people feel bad.

The real answer is we struggled to get pregnant with Reagan.  We had to have help.  We were tested, probed and prodded.  And took medicine.  And I knew more about my body than I ever wanted to know.  And had a miscarriage before Reagan and one after.  And none of the doctors could tell us why.  It was not a pleasant time for us.

But we got through it.  And have a beautiful daughter.  But not everyone has a happy ending.

Could we have keep trying for more children?  Absolutely.  But after two miscarriages we were done. I feel for the families who have had multiple miscarriages.  I can't image the pain of multiple losses. It sucks.

But when I answered people that way they felt so bad for asking.  And really, they should.  But I never felt as bad as they felt.  And that made me feel bad.

One day while listening to Dr. Lauren some one called in and asked what should they say when people asked if they were going to have more children.  And Dr. Lauren gave us both an awesome answer that day.  My standard answer became "Ha!  We have all we can handle and all we can do right!" Smily face, smily face, smily face!

Most people accepted this answer.

Some did not.

Those who kept insisting we didn't know what we were missing by not having more children got the real answer.  And they felt bad.  And I did not.  I figured if you were going to continue to push your hurtful opinion on me then you deserved the hurtful truth.  And hopefully then, you'd think twice about asking some one if they were going to have more children.  And maybe then, you'd think twice about pushing your opinion on some one who only has one child.

Please understand.  I do not mind at all telling you my story.  Maybe you're going through the same troubles and need to know you're not alone.  I know I needed that when we were trying to get pregnant.  It brought me great comfort in knowing we weren't the only ones out there struggling!  Or maybe you're some one who just thinks about getting pregnant and do get pregnant.  So maybe you don't understand the struggles of someone who has to do more than just think about being pregnant. And maybe it's helpful for hear about the struggle so you can be more supportive and understanding.

Where I draw my line is when you insist we need more children.  When you tell me I don't know what I'm missing.  When you tell me that I'm depriving my child of siblings.  When you tell me everything that's wrong with an only children (I have so much fun with this one.  I'm only child also. So after they give me their list of what's wrong with only children I like to ask "Am I like that?  You know I'm an only child, right?  Do those qualities you just listed describe me?"  Now that's just plain fun!)

Maybe you think we're crazy to only have one kid.  That's ok!  I think you're crazy for having more than two.

But it's my little family.  And I love my little family.  And I would not go back and try to have more children.

Just like it's your big family.  And you love your big family.  And you can't image a life without all of your children.

And it's all ok!

But maybe think before you ask the "Are you going to have more kids?" question.  Because the answer might be heartbreaking for the couple.  Then again, it might not and it's just a personal choice. But it is a personal choice and not really your business.

Monday, January 30, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

For Pleasure:

Tuesday Night in 1980 by Molly Prentiss  I don't know what to say about this book.  I didn't love it or hate it.  I liked it enough to finish it.  The writing style was different.  There wasn't a ton of dialogue. It was about art so maybe that's my problem.  I like art but I don't get art they way art people get art. And this book was about art, the way art people get art.  It also has some love.  But the love was dirty and messed up love.  I like clean, pretty love.  Ha!

I started I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan.  I've like every book I've ever read by McMillan and so far this one is no different.  Dr. Georgia Young, at 50 something, is tired of her life. She's "slapped in the face" when she finds out that one of the first guys she loved has passed away. She decides to get in touch with the men she's loved and lost over the years.  She's also decide to sell her family home, sell her half of the practice and take a train ride.

For School:

Night of the Dragon: The Night at the Museum Nick's Tale #1 by Michael Anthony Steele.  Steele will be doing an author visit at our school at the beginning of February so I'm reading a couple of his books to get ready for his visit.  This book is picks up when the movie "Night at the Museum" leaves off.  The story is told by Nick, son of Larry Daley.  Nick loves going to work with his dad at night during the summer.  He loves history and seeing it... come alive.  When a new exhibit at the Museum of Natural History arrives some strange things start happening around the museum.  Nick will have to solve a problem or risk losing his dad.

Friday, January 27, 2017

What a Week

It's been a long week.

1. I'm still recovering from bronchitis.  Though today is the first day I've felt almost 100%.  Still coughing a little.  Man, these coughs like to stick around!

2. We mock STAAR tested 4 days in a row this week.  I.  Am.  Sick. Of. Testing.

3.  Jay preached in a gospel meeting this week, Sun-Thurs.  It was good to hear him preach all week and be around other Christians. But it makes for a long week where nothing gets done in our house because we are at worship.

4.  I had Ladies Bible class at our house Monday night.  Three ladies talked about their trip to Ethiopia and the Bible work they do there.

5.  Today I'm taking dinner to the family of my librarian friend who passed away.  Just a small juster to show what their mom/wife meant to me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Happy 11th Birthday Maggie Girl

Our black lab turned 11 years old last Friday.  She got a yummy peanut butter treat 
for her "cake."

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Plum Series' Audiobook

Have you read the Stephanie Plum series?  There are 23 books in the series out now.  They can get repetitive pretty quickly so I don't suggest reading them all at once.

It's a fun series about an incompetent bounty hunter with a bit of an attitude, her partner (an ex-prostitute) her love interests (a cop and a security expert... both very hot) and her trying to catch the bad guy.  She gets caught up in all kinds of crazy shenanigans.

I put both the eBook and the eAudiobook on hold back in November when the book first came out. The eAudiobook came available first a couple of days ago so I downloaded it and started listening.

It's good to be back in the Plum world.


I'm NOT loving listening to the audiobook.  It's not the readers fault though!  She does a good job.

It's just that after 23 books I have a certain way the characters sound.  And the way they sound in my head is not the way they sound on the audiobook.

I debated deleting the audiobook and waiting for the eBook but I really wanted to read this book.  I mean, I've been waiting since November.  I didn't really want to wait more.  But at the same time I wanted to enjoy the book and I was not enjoying listening to it.

I just couldn't decide what to do.

Y'all the struggle is real.

But my need to know how the story ended was greater than my annoyance of the voices.  So I finished listening to the audiobook.  And in the end I got used to they way the reader read.  I still like my voices better.  Ha!

Are there books you prefer to read yourself than listen to the audiobook?

Monday, January 23, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

For Pleasure:

I listened to Turbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich.  I LOVE the Plum series.  The books can get a bit repetitive so I don't suggest reading all of them at once.  Stephanie is just competent enough to do her job as a bounty hunter.  With a lot of mishaps of course.  Danger always seems to attract her.  The people in her life range from an ex-prostitute to her crazy, fun-loving grandma to a hot cop and a hot security man.  I laugh my way through these books!

For School:

Last week with it being Martin Luther King Jr day I didn't read a book to students.  I showed them a video on the Discovery Channel.  We had some great discussions about the things they learned.

I read two books for our student Book Clubs.

I started a 2nd grade Book Club  to try to help a teacher pull her higher readers.  We read Eek! Stories to make you shriek by Jane O'Connor.  Sometimes I struggle through easy reader chapter books.  They're... well... too easy.  But I really did enjoy this book about a dragon curse.  A boy and his family go to Wales for a week long vacation (he'd rather be at baseball camp!).  Riding his bike around town the boy realizes there are no other boys in town and everyone is encouraging him to leave town.  This book doesn't have a nicely wrapped up ending which is annoying and a relief all at the same time.  Ha!  Sometimes I get tired of endings that are wrapped up with a pretty bow.  I can't wait to hear what my second graders have to say about the book!

With my 4th grade Book Club we are reading Secret Agent jack Stalwart: The Deadly Race to Space #9 by Elizabeth Singer Hunt.  I really enjoy reading and learning about space so really liked this book!  Jack is a secret agent.  No one in his family knows he works for a secret agent.  He has access to some really cool gadgets! Jack is sent on a mission to find his missing... FATHER!  But wait!  Is the man who hired him to find his dad really the bad guy?  Will Jack and his father be able to stop the launch of the rocket to Mars?

We have an author visit coming in a few weeks.  So I'm reading some of Michael Anthony Steele's books to get ready to introduce them to my students.  I started Night at the Museum Nick's Tales. This book picks up where the movie and book Night at the Museum left off.  Only this time we are following Larry Daley's son Nick around the museum.  I'm only on page 12 right now.

Friday, January 20, 2017

I'm Over Being Sick

I am so over being sick.  #done  I have bronchitis.  Again.

2 shots, 2 Rx, and 1 over the counter meds later, I hope to be feeling better soon.  At least it's Friday and I have the weekend to rest and I don't have to take any days off from school.

But still.

I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Travel Tracker

I have to say that this Travel Tracker is one of my favorite pages in my Bullet Journal!

I found a free printable map online and printed one for Reagan and myself.  We cut it out then glued it in our bullet journals.  My mother-in-law said she never thought to glue things in her bullet journal.  I got the idea from the interactive notebooks students used when I taught middle school.

I used this pin on Pinterest as my guide.  I liked the quote she used so I used it too.  I went with Harry Potter font for the title cuz... I love Harry Potter!

We've driven through some states, some states we only spent the night in and others we vacationed in. So I decided to come up with a way to show the difference.  I created a legend on the left side.  If we spent any time in a state doing fun things or sightseeing or spent a few days I considered that part of our vacation and colored it in solid.  If we just drove through or only spent the night then I just did lines.  I did it this way so that if we go back to that state and vacation I can easily go back and fill it in.  The only thing I might do different next time is use different colors or maybe patterns to indicate that I've been to that state more than once.

I also want to keep up with how many states I've been too.  But every time I counted the states on the map I came up with a different number. Ha!  I finally just sat down one day and wrote down each state I had colored and counted.  I came up with 24.  You can see there on the right in orange my tally marks.  I'll add a tally each time I mark a state.

I'd like to eventually visit every state.  And this is a fun way for me to keep track of the states I still need to visit.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wordless Wednesday-Family

I got to see some of my family this past Saturday.  This is my cousin Taylor,
my granny and me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Focusing on my OLW

I started picking One Little Word back in 2015.  I LOVE this concept!  Picking one word to focus on all year just... did it for me the way resolutions do not.

I seemed to always fail at my resolutions.  I made too many.  I didn't make enough.  I forgot all about them by January 3.

When I learned about OLW back in late 2014 I jumped on the idea.  How "easy" would it be to focus on one little word?

For me it made a difference.  It gave me:
  • a focus.
  • a purpose.
  • something to work on.
It was just what I needed.  I'm not much on journaling or self-reflection but having a OLW helped me do some reflection even if I didn't write it down.  It also helped me self-correct behaviors I wanted to work on.  

I'm looking forward to my time with my OLW, choose, this year.  But I started wondering how I could focus even more on my OLW throughout the year.  I'm going to make an infographic like I do every year.  I made a little... thingy (that's the technical term) to put on my blog last year and I'll do that again this year.  But I want to do more with choose this year.

So I've been thinking.
  • I want the word more visible than just the infographic I hang in my office and the thingy on my blog.
  • I'm going to take pictures and/or make note of the things I choose to make a scrapbook that I'll print at the end of the year.
  • I'm going to write one weekly blog about my OLW.
  • I found some cuff bracelets I can customize on Etsy.  I going to have one made to wear daily.

Do you do a OLW?  What's your OLW?  How do you stay focused on your OLW throughout the year?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Disclaimer: I receive a small percentage from books purchased using the links below.

For School:

I received my Junior Library Guild subscription and have been reading my way through the box.

 I Am Not a Number by Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer was a moving book based on a true story. Irene and her family live on Nipissing First Nation in Canada.  At 8 years old Irene and two of her brothers are taken from their family by the Canadian government and sent to a residential school where they suffered abuse and were malnourished for the school year.  Upon returning home they told their parents of the abuse.  Their parents vowed to break the law, hide their children and never send them back to the school.

 Hilda and the Stone Forest (Hildafolk) by Luke Pearson is an adventure graphic novel.  Hilda has a secret life.  A life that is mixed up with all kinds of creatures and monsters.  She often lies to her mum about where she's going and what she's doing until her mum catches her sneaking through the wall.  When mom gets in a tug of war with Hilda they end up somewhere a bit... scary.

Dino-Racing by Lisa Wheeler is another cute book in the Dino sports series.  The rhyming is catchy. There is a lot of vocabulary if you don't know much about racing.  And I don't.  The dinosaurs race for 3 days across different terrains.  And you won't believe who wins the race!

How to Be a Hero by Florence Parry Heide has a little boy named Gideon in it who wants to be a hero.  Everything he knows about heroes he learned from fairy tales.  And all the heroes had to kiss a girl.  Ewww!  Gideon wonders into a grocery store to buy a candy bar where he was the ten thousandth customer to buy something!  His picture gets put on the front page and he gets to get a candy bar whenever he wants!  But wait... did a lady fall and drop her baby?

How This Book Was Made by Ma Barnett is a book I cannot wait to read to students before our author visit next month.  Barnett describes how books are made adding little twists that are funny. Adam Rex, the illustrator, does an amazing job adding to the story with his drawings!  The reader will learn all kinds of facts.  My favorite was that Barnett had 21 rough drafts.  21!

Hank's Big Day: The Story of a Bug by Evan Kuhlman and Chuck Groenink is a story of friendship. An odd friendship between a young girl and a pill bug.  After the pill bug eats a yummy dead leaf for breakfast he ventures past crickets, and worms and ants and other creepy crawlies to meet his best friend Amelia who takes him on an adventure.

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story About Knitting and Love by Micelle Edwards is a story about an older hispanic lady who teacher a young hispanic girl how to knit hats and pom-poms and do good deeds for others.  Sophia quickly realizes that Mrs. Goldman needs a hat too but won't knit herself one because she is too busy doing good deeds for others.  So Sophia knits her a hat.  But it's not very good and Sophia has to get creative.

Penguin Problems by Jory John Do you know some one who complains about everything? Like. Every. Thing.  That's penguin.  He complains about every single thing he can possibly complain about.  Then he meets a wise walrus who reminds him of the good things.  It helps... for awhile.

My Name Is James Madison Hemings by Jonah Winter is a book about James' life as a slave.  It's told in first person so we learn who his father is at the same time the he learn who his father is.  We are privy to the emotions of this knowledge and the questions James has about this.

I received a couple of free books from Capstone.

Winter: The Coldest Season of All! (My First Science Songs) by Lisa Bell is a sing-a-long book that comes with a CD.  I don't think I've every read a book like this before to my students.  I plan on reading it and playing the CD during story time sometime in the month of January.

Comp Day

Today is a Comp Day for me.  No school!

1.  I'm so glad I did the training this past summer so I could have this day off though I wasnt thrilled about it this summer. Ha!

2.  I get to sleep in!

3.  I get to sit and enjoy my coffee instead of drinking it on the run.

4.  Reagan has PE the last period of the day so I'm picking her up early from school.

5.  I get to serve hot lunch at my daughter's school.  Which I haven't been able to do in the 8 1/2 years she's been at this school.  I send my parents and my mother-in-law to serve in my place but today I get to do it and I'm excited!

Bullet Journal

My bullet journal is really coming along.  I'm quiet proud of it.

I'm not a journaller or a writer (like the physical act of writing).  I don't like paper and pen so I wasn't sure how this would go.  It's a lot of paper and a lot of pen.

I don't like journalling.  But I have a blog... go figure.  I think my idea of journalling is writing down all your feelings and documenting your day.  And although that is part of it, I've learned though bullet journaling that it can be more creative than that.

I've scoured Pinterest for ideas and tweaked pages for myself.  I'm going to feature a page here on Thursdays to show what I've done.  Please share your ideas with me!

Here's my Index.  I've loved this Index!  It's made finding pages so easy.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

Grandad and Granddaughter 

2nd (Half) Hour of Coding

My first (half) hour of coding left me... shocked.  You can read more here.  It did not go as I had planned.  At. All.

So yesterday was our second time to meet.  I had higher hopes that this meeting would go better but I did not set my expectations as high as I did for the first meeting.

I should have though.

Oh my word!  This meeting was awesome!!!

Most students logged right into their emails then were able to create an account on the Code website.  In the end we didn't need to log into email.  I thought they were going to have to verify their accounts through their email.  I must of mixed it up with another site though.

Then I let them loose.  And they ran with it.  Some students needed a little bit of guidance.  So I helped those who needed it.  It got to where the students who were able to jump right in and swim would help those who needed a bit of help.  I loved seeing the students helping each other.

As the courses got harder I did have to step in and give some tips.  But on the whole students were able to teach themselves.

I cannot tell you how pleased I am after this meeting.  I was starting to question my sanity after the first meeting.  Ha!  But this meeting left me ready to take over the world!  Or at least my little world.

Monday, January 9, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Disclaimer: I receive a small percentage of the books purchased through the links below.

For Pleasure:

I finished The Hypnotist's Love Story: A Novel by Liane Moriarty.  I read this book for book club.  I love Moriarty's books!  I have now read all the books she has published.

I really liked this book!  It hooked me the first few pages.  It's told from two Points of View.  One is the hypnotist's POV and the other is from the her fiance's stalker's POV.  I loved reading the stalker's POV.  I liked hearing how she justified stalking her ex, his son and his new fiance.  It was interesting to me how the hypnotist wasn't scared of the stalker.  She was intrigued by her.

I started The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Birk.  Will Halpin is a deaf students who doesn't fit in at the Deaf school and get special permission to attend his local high school.  Will is also overweight.  He has a hard time fitting in not only because of his deafness but also his weight.   I'm about 1/3 of the way through this book and so far so good!

For School:

Last week I read Race Car Count by Rebecca Kai Dotlich.  This book on the Texas 2x2 award list. Each race car is numbered and has it's own special color.  Each page rhymes and introduces a new car.  The students and I enjoyed looking at the illustrations.  Sometimes the illustration told more of a story than the words.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Five for Friday-OLW

This year I asked my family to pick a One Little Word too.  I've done a OLW since 2015 and it's really helped me stay focused.  I thought it might help them too, give us something to do as a family, and remind each other of our word whenever we are struggling.

I'm happy to say that they both have chosen a word for 2017.  We've already started helping each other out.  We've also shared ideas with each other on how to stay focused on our word.

Here are some of the ideas we came up with and stole learned from others.

1.  Create a 8 1/2 x 11 page showing what your word means to you and display it somewhere you will see often.

2.  Design a page in your bullet journal where you can write about how you used your word throughout the year.

3.  Order a cuff bracelet with your word on it to wear daily.

4.  Create a secret Pinterest board to pin things on that help you with your word.

5.  Write a poem or a purpose using your word.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Wordless Wednesday-Fireplace

 A few years ago I took a picture of Reagan and my feet by the fire at my in-laws house.  It's become a tradition now.  And now her feet are as big as mine!


Suddenly it was December and I realized I hadn't thought of my One Little Word for 2017!  So like any good, little librarian I started to research.

I thought about my OLW from the past two years.
  • 2015-Change
    • I had no idea how much that word would be true for 2015 in my work life!
  • 2016-Positive
    • I chose this word because I was struggling with staying positive.
    • Although I still struggled with it in 2016 having 'positive' as my OLW helped me refocus when I wasn't being so positive.
    • I also realized that positive was just to black and white for me.  There were somethings I just could not find the positive in and I felt like I had failed at my OLW.  And that's so not the point of an OLW.
So in December I read through a list of words to see what jumped out at me.  I wanted a word that was flexible but still helped me grow.  I didn't want another black and white word.  Two words caught my eye.  Choose and Embrace.

I thought about:
  • both of them.   
  • how I'd "use" them in my daily life.  
  • how each would affect my life.  
  • which I was most willing to "do"
Then I just thought.  I let my mind wonder.  I went on about my day.  

And one word kept popping up.


My OLW for 2017 is Choose.

I can choose:
  • to be positive
  • to accept change
  • my attitude
  • my response to stupid people
  • what I read
  • what I watch
  • what I say
  • what I do
So 2017 will be my year to choose.