Saturday, August 13, 2016

Miscellaneous Life

Since school began, the Gramerlings have come to visit on Tuesday evenings.  It always is such a transition for me back to the classroom.  I have a pretty clear picture of how the year is going to shape up, where the strengths are, where the challenges are as well.
I had an strange experience this week.  I'm not Facebook savvy. I'm not quite sure why things appear and what my actions in response to other's posts, though rare, fall out in cyberspace.  Anyway, a disgruntled lower grade parent left our school for a public school close by.  On my fb feed was a former administrator sharing that parent's post about how wonderful her new experience has been and how horrible the former teacher was.  She had something to say about life not being black and white and too bad that teacher couldn't see the gray.  We are a small school in a small community. She might as well have said her name.  I just felt sick.  When you've spent twelve years watching someone teach and have long understood that in fact, what the teacher sees  is each individual person and works hard to love them in every color known to man.  I desperately wanted to respond in defense of this teacher.  This was  a post with  no option for commenting.
If you know me, you would know I run from this type of thing, like my tail's on fire.  I have no desire to fight on FB.  Still, my guilt was enormous to let this go, though I didn't know how to address it.
I will tell you one thing I've discovered. There are parents who have no expectation that their child should have to follow the rules.  Yes, they may find a classroom where their child is  "happy" for a time, but I've discovered this often means the teacher is overwhelmed and can only put out so many fires at one time.  What happens, parents with an expectation for their children to respond appropriately to authority have their child receiving less education than they should while a few children are ruling the classroom.  I know of which I speak.
There was only one teacher who knew the heart of everyone he taught, my Lord and Savior, Jesus.  When he sat high expectations to love your neighbor as yourself, they hated Him.  How will I or my co-teacher ever compare?
I know I wake up every day and plan for it to be good, plan to be patient, loving, kind, plan to find a way to reach a child. Still, that child who walks in every day believing that the rules don't apply to him, that he's above the expectations of our school, well, it is hard to do for hours on end.  What is always interesting to me is seeing those very people outside of school and their own frustration with the child is evident, yet they fully expect me to manage it with a smile six hours a day.  Let me say, it makes me wish their was no such thing as Facebook knowing the hurt those nasty comments have on someone undeserving.
On a different note, a new baby every week.  First my little Wayside Rosie, and this week the Captain's new boy Scout, a furbaby.

So cute.
Getting to know her cousins

What, are these more furbabies?

Showing Pap her fancy skirt.

Rae needed to attend a school orientation with Giddy-Up, so I came to care for the two little ones.  Rosie had to have her vaccinations and was not feeling well.  At various fussy times, two year old Mr. Smiley would try to comfort her, "It's okay baby, just take a deep bwef,"  Dragging a book over, "I will read her a story," and he did.  " I will sing to her," and proceeded to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle."  How dear that a little two year old knows how to comfort his sister.
Today was spent shopping for little girl things- Be still my heart.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

My "Wayside" Gramerling

I got a phone call this week.
One I had expected, but just not what I wish was necessary to hear.  One that has had me tearing up but again and again. For a bit now, Rae has been certified to offer foster care for a baby and has had the nursery ready for sometime.  Circumstances have left a littlest bit of girl baby with need of a that nursery.  So your heart, for a wee person I had yet to meet, breaks just a little, knowing the need this baby has.  Then your heart rejoices that there is a safe place for her to land in this upheaval.
We jump in, knowing she needs cared for and loved up for a moment? a few days?  a few weeks?
It is no small thing is it, to give the best of yourself to someone who is leaving you.

I don't know why but the notion of "waysides" came to my mind.
Once I had the fun opportunity to help create all the flower arrangements used for  Oaks Day and The Kentucky Derby- flower heaven.  The young lady who won that contract named her company with "Wayside"  in the title. As we worked, I asked how she chose the name.  She reminded of those little wayside pull off's along old roads to where ever you were going, before interstates came through.  I do remember. Sometimes there was a picnic table and trash can.  As a little flower child, she loved to gather whatever was growing in that little side by the way.

 I've always loved that description and isn't it ever more lovely than the negative definition of "fallen by the wayside."

I am just the mom to the foster care provider, but you know I want to be the Gramerly to this little one.  So, I will grandparent in this wayside moment  the best I can.
We would love your prayers for all parties involved.

I got to visit this evening and enjoyed grabbing a couple of summer clearance items on my errands from this morning to bring.

This girl of mine is excited to have all that pink in the laundry.

She was a little bundle of coos and wide grins for her Wayside Gramerly and Pap.

And almost as smitten by her brothers as they are with her. So sweet to watch them come running with her blanket or pacifier every time she made a sound.
On the way home we were driving through quite a rain with the sun glaring at us through the windshield, then a beautiful rainbow.  All is well, God is nigh.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Done and Done

While there were days I seriously doubted I'd ever finishing emptying boxes and finding a home for all my teaching materials, it is done and mostly ready for kiddos tomorrow. Hallelujah!

 My former desk was as big as a barge.  We have had a little wooden desk, gifted to us for the kids back in the day sometime.  Handy Man gave it a new coat of paint and it is in that back corner.  My goal this year is to maintain a cleared desk.  I really tried to think through my places to put things to help make this happen. I don't hold to hope as I am so messy. Something my great nephew enjoyed pointing out to me recently.  I know neatniks cannot grasp the mentality of someone who likes their stuff out and all over. Even though messes are fine by me, I usually know where everything is in the pile.

 My most favorite change is the decal on wall.  If you click a picture you can see it bigger.  That's my favorite spot in the room.

After vacation, I had two more Playdates and a boys only sleep over.

The first Playdate back was supposed to have been Klub Kymbi, but it was pouring rain.  Giddy-Up listened to Little House on the Prairie on the way to Florida and was eager to pretend those things he learned about.  It was really quite hysterical the things the older girl helpers called themselves relating to pioneers and other, ahem, things.
 Everyone got involved in something else.
 You know you have to stare at "The Shirt" and have a little rainy day conversation.
 Everyone needs a little spell of wrestling.
 The rain slowed, so we made our way to the creek.

 When we realized there really wasn't sufficient time for everyone to get painted up, we decided to put that on hold for the next week.  Then we remembered that this one had camp, so she was our only client of the day.
 Pretty girl.
So, the next week we'd combine make-up and science. Sounds reasonable.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Here I Go!

I am not one for posting pictures of myself, but this so captures my feelings about returning to work. This is me this morning.
I'm still trying to get my room put back together. Finally, all the boxes are emptied. Today after meetings, I will put up my bulletin boards and then I can get to the real business of preparing lessons for the year.  

Monday, July 18, 2016

Second Week Vacation

Whew, coming back from vacation to a whirlwind. This week is the last summer playdate already, my last math/reading clubs were today.  I presented a program at the Master Gardner's Kid's Garden this morning, and working day after day trying to get my classroom moved back in.  Goodness, I dislike that job so.
Some sad partings on the wee farm.  Some of our chickens are quite elderly now ( seven years old) and a black australorp just laid down and didn't get up this week.  Though it is always sad, I'm glad she was able to get up and go, until she wasn't.  We lost a tiny silkie bantam, likely to a hawk, while we were on vacation,  and then our Mr. Merry went to sleep in his house Pap made him and didn't wake up. He was Pap's sweet, spoiled boy.

So, vacation-week two.  Ceece and the kids left Saturday morning as Handy Man, Rae and her menfolk were heading in my direction.  Big shift to wee folk who rise as early as I do.
It was a full, fun, hotter than you know what week.  I knew Handy Man would be needing a good meal after a couple days on the road. I had gone to the farmer's market there in Flagler and fixed a big supper with fried squash, tomatoes, cucumber onion salad, and corn on the cob.  They were ready to eat when they arrived in the afternoon and then we headed to the beach.  I was excited to see how the boys would respond to the ocean. You know it is kind of big and wild and noisy.  Mr. Smiley took one look and exclaimed, " That is dangerous."  Giddy-Up was willing to get up close as long as his Papa stayed near.  We sat in the sand with the baby and played and watched big brother. We then began to bring Mr. Smiley buckets of water and it wasn't long until he was willing to venture out a bit, though holding tight.

Giddy-Up was in heaven.  He loved everything about that beach and would play and play until you dragged him home.  I loved watching him imagine, create endlessly and with so much enthusiasm.   

This little mister found a tiny pool more to his liking.

 This kid is just so cute, and funny and smart.  I put on my big sunglasses one day and he informed me that I looked venomous. He is only still when he is asleep and is faster than greased lighting.  He sings all the time and sang, "Get out the way, here comes Willy," all the way to the beach I'm told.
 We'd go out early to the beach, come in for lunch and rest and Pappy wrestling.
 Soon it was time for another swim with the dolphins.  It just doesn't get old. Those animals simply astound me.

 On the way out,  the boy spied an Eastern Looper and needed to take a closer look. He has no fear of insects. I don't know how many he caught during our week.
 When the waves would knock him down, he would say, "That was awesome, but I don't think I'll do it again."
 One day we went to the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine.  I really like that park.  The boys were fascinated with the Komodo trying to find its food.
 And the Rookery was just unreal, there was a bird nesting everywhere you turned.

The boardwalk over the swamp FULL UP with gators was, umm interesting.

 A state park anchors both ends of Flagler and this time we visited both. Interesting that both straddle A1A and have a beach side and a wooded river side.  This park had a butterfly garden and a short trail, perfect for short legs and chubby ol' grandma's.  I talked to the boys about how people had to use their resources, no stores.  We wove a mat from a palmetto branch.

 The park on the opposite side had a river shore full of hermit crabs and various other crabs. So fun.

I don't know how many of these we picked up, trying to find one without a critter in it. We found exactly two with no inhabitants. See those gray spots where he is looking?  Everyone a hermit crab.

 Wow, creation impresses me mightily.
 The beach on the other side is the last beach where you can find this volume of coquina rock.
 We came back here  for sunrise and breakfast on the beach, and to check out the neat rock made of so very many shells.

 Having a little something, something.

 And finally, the mole crab, aka sand flea, I told Giddy-Up about. Finally, he caught one and we peeked at her orange eggs before returning her to the sand.
He was sad to leave the beach.  I was sad for him, he loved it so. 
I'm so very thankful to make these memories with them. To hold these smiles in my heart. 
 Bless the Lord oh my soul. Bless His holy name.