A Little Unexpected…

Standard

 

An unexpected text message this morning…no school today.

A random Tuesday off?

One not related to snow…

But one that left me stressing…

Wanting…needing to know…

Was everyone safe? Was everyone ok?

The unexpected was not welcome…

So I tried to distract myself…

I was unable to go back to bed…the unexpected left me wide awake…

There was laundry to tend to (fresh sheets tonight…the very best!)…

An endless stack of papers to grade…

The TV on as I watched fat, fluffy snowflakes fall from the sky…

My house is now clean…dishes washed, floors vacuumed and washed, some light dusting is done…

But yet, I still could not help thinking…

Of the unexpected…

 

Write. Share. Give.

 

Nothing Better Than Book Love…

Standard

I am a reader…I just love to devour books. One right after the other. Sequels and series… Books that are made into movies…books recommended by friends.

I love to chat about books- how other people felt about the characters, the setting, the twist they just didn’t see coming. I love to tell my students about the great book that I just can’t put down…

I love to fall in love with the characters- embrace their fights and frustrations, their hopes and successes.

I just can’t get enough!

Which is probably a great problem to have as a literacy teacher.

I enjoy sharing my passion with students- helping them pick books that I know they’ll adore. Seeing their eyes light up with excitement, hear their voices begging for “just five minutes more!” Finding a series that they stick to… huddling in a corner with me to discuss their heartbreak when its “all over.”

Most of my classes buy in to my strange obsession by way of read alouds. With the exception of one of my classes…my 7th graders. They are “too cool” for reading.

We have tried book after book this year…Projekt 1065, Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children, Harry Potter (I have never been more disappointed that I couldn’t get this class to love Harry the way I do)! But, they just wouldn’t buy in. These books that have spoken so loudly to me, did not interest them in the slightest.

Until we came across this book…the one that changed it ALL for us. Code of Honor written by Alan Gratz. The beginning was rocky- they weren’t buying into the main character, Kamran, who’s older brother Darius is accused of being a Terrorist. A Persian family living in Arizona, Kamran was quickly thrown into turmoil as he fought to protect his name: at school, with the Department of Homeland Security, and later to a team of individuals who help him track down his brother.

Now?

My. Kids. Are. Hooked. HOOKED! Today, they literally begged and pleaded to keep reading. For us to devote our whole block to finishing the book. They were drying to know…

  • Was Darius really a terrorist?
  • Who, among their group, was a traitor? (You’ll have to read to find out…)
  • Does Kamran ever get of the DHS?
  • He Escaped? Will he be charged with a crime even though he shouldn’t have been kept there to begin with?
  • Is his brother in Iraq? Arizona?
  • Does Kamran REALLY believe his brother is still innocent?
  • Will they really let Kamran go with on their mission?

Of course I didn’t let them finish…I have to draw it out. Keep them hanging on, coming back each day…asking more questions, delving deeper into the characters, analyzing the events and synthesizing their thinking… I even heard them talking about the book later on in the day…in the hallway while walking with a friend…without even being told to!!!!!!

For the first time this year, my 7th graders are in love with reading. Just like me…

And boy, oh boy, does this make for one VERY happy literacy teacher!

Write. Share. Give.

My Heart is Full…

Standard

My heart is full… when I hear the pitter-pattering of feet running across the slick hard wood my girlsfloors hurrying to greet me at the door…when the sweet sound of toddler babble comes to a halt and I hear, “Auntie Sammy is here!!!!” as they greet me at the door. When I hear their giggles radiating through the room at whatever “silly” thing I’ve done, their sister babble back and forth…

Sigh.

My heart is full… when I see my bright eyed nieces, three of them, to be exact. Their beautiful, hazel eyes bright with excitement. Giant smiles pervading their faces as their little hands wrap around my fingers…

Sigh.

My heart is full… when I cuddle my 11 month old niece, Sloane, and inhale her sweet, baby smell. A mix of baby wash, formula, and detergent. When I snuggle with Emersyn as she crawls on my lap wanting to cuddle, her head leaning back against my shoulder. When tucking Eisley into bed and smell the calming oils diffused into her room…

Sigh.

My heart is full… when playing with my nieces- feeling them crawling on top of me as they try to tackle me and take me down… as we chase one another through the house playing tickle monster and I feel their little hands trying to tickle my belly. When we snuggle up at night to read bedtime stories and their little arms link around my neck begging for another hug, or a “squeeze” as Emersyn calls them now…

Sigh.

My heart is full… when I hear them say, “I love you, Auntie Sammy.”

Sigh.

I never knew how full my heart could be….

Write. Share. Give.

That “Oily” Life…

Standard

I’ve been hearing about them for the last few years…

My colleagues swear by them…

I’ve heard they ease pain, help improve sleep, calm students, relieve stress, help with sinuses…

After battling nonstop headaches and a stuffy nose with no end in sight…

After shhhhhing students and reminding myself to breath as I internally count to five…

After realizing I need something to help with my stress level…

I gave in…

I decided to give them a try…

I ordered a small diffuser (I’m currently just “trying” them out) before I spend the big bucks on the starter kit…

I hit up my friend Megan for samples (she is WELL stocked at school)…

And here I am…

Diffusing my new essential oils…

Bergamot to be exact…

Contemplating my combination for bedtime (I’ve heard Lavender and Stress Away is great!)…

Excited to see if these oils help (because, to be honest, I have my doubts)…

Write. Share. Give.

 

 

FriYAY…

Standard

I have never been more excited to see the end of a Friday looming so close- almost within my grasp.

It has just been one of those weeks… ya know, the one where everything and everyone just seems to get on your nerves?

Constant headaches. For the last two weeks. I’d appreciate a brief reprieve as my Excedrin Migraine has just not been cutting it lately.

My students. Whom I love…I swear I do… They just don’t seem to know how to listen this week. I blame PARCC testing. And Mother Nature…all she has done is give us false hopes of an early spring, to rip them away so cruelly- instead turning back to winter weather and causing that inevitable cabin fever. Sigh.

Traffic. Geez….The amount of times I have almost gotten hit by OTHER drivers this week is ridiculous. Aren’t people supposed to pass a driving test before they’re allowed out on the road?

Amazon Prime….Broke my heart for the first time since our relationship started. I was all excited to order my first oil diffuser (I’m jumping on the oil bandwagon)…paid extra for shipping so it would come the next day…But did it? Nope, sure didn’t. I’m still waiting on it…three days later (longer than any Prime member should have to wait). I hope for their sake it is sitting on my doorstep by the time I get home…

This sure is a whiny post of pointless, trivial complaints…Oh well.

At least my fridge is stocked full of wine!

Write. Share. Give.

 

Strength Is…

Standard

Strength is… a beautiful 13 year old girl, an eighth grader, with her whole future ahead of her.

Strength is… facing her worst fear- that the weight loss, fatigue, and stomach pains- were cancer.

Strength is…  going to battle, fighting. HARD.

Strength is… sharing her news with her friends. Letting them in on her battle, letting them help her battle.

Strength is… coming up to school. She has been out for a good part of the year… has kept to herself, has been hidden from sight.

Strength is… becoming comfortable with the loss of her hair. Whipping off her dark purple winter hat, showing her beautiful, bald head to the word. So confident. Smiling so big.

Strength is… working with me, almost everyday, to keep up with school. Asking questions, reading and writing, asking for bits and pieces of school news. Missing us, missing her world.

Strength is… fighting through the nausea from daily chemo and radiation treatments, sometimes giving in shortly to take a nap- to rest a bit- before facing those side effects head on once more.

Strength is… not giving up. Each and every single day. No matter how sore her body aches, how nauseous the medicine makes her, how bad she misses her friends and the normal her life once was.

Strength is… that she will beat this thing…this cancer.

Strength is… a beautiful 13 year old girl, an eighth grader, with her whole future ahead of her.

Write. Share. Give.

 

Just One of Those Days…

Standard

Today, has just been one of those days…

Woke up…exhausted.

Contacts? Nope…not cooperating- my too sleepy eyes just did not want to accept a foreign body into them today. Eyes blood shot and scratchy, rejecting the contacts forced in.

The drive to school? Frustrating… the fast lane we all love so much? Welp, I guess it has turned into the slow lane…for cars going UNDER the speed limit. And as for other drivers…I guess they were exhausted today, too, as I was almost side-swiped TWICE…I’m glad I was paying attention.

My head? Pounding…Excedrin Migraine could not kick in quick enough!

My students? Frustrating… Work untouched from the last few days, every excuse in the book. That poor, poor tree I murdered today  making additional copies…

My classroom? A mess…a big, hunking mess… just too much for my poor OCD self to take in today. Papers- everywhere. Desks- crooked and out of place. Garbage- overflowing. Carpet- tracked with dirt. Books- disheveled on the shelves. Sigh. Just talking about the messiness is causing me to break out in hives…

Me as a result? Totally, and completely, cranky.

Today, has just been one of those days…

Write. Share. Give.

Zzzzzzzz….

Standard

The sounds of snoring pervades the ultra quiet computer lab…disrupting the subtle sounds of fingers click clacking away on computer keyboards.

Several students look over and snicker, distracted for a quick moment from the ever exciting test they are currently taking to see who is the culprit behind the snoring…

A young man with his head still up, facing the key board…eyes struggling to stay open and focus… head starting to tilt forward. I quickly head his way, pausing from my millionth lap around the room, and kneel down beside him.

Gentle hands tap him on the shoulder…”Everything okay over here?” “Ugh, Ms. Geijer- this test is killing me today! I didn’t sleep well last night and its so warm…I’m sorry,” murmured the student apologetically.

I totally understood…the warm computer lab, the humming lullaby of the computers, the not so exciting test immediately after lunch. It was even making me ready for  nap!

A quick pep talk and a drink of water- and my guy was back in his seat, ready to refocus as best he could.

Poor kids….PARCC testing is never any fun…for anyone!

Zzzzzzzz….

Write. Share. Give.

The Vet…

Standard

frankieI have spent more time at the vet in the last few months, than I have in my entire life. And, as I’m typing this, I am here yet again. This time, while also battling a touch of the stomach flu…not the greatest combination!

My poor furbaby, Frankie, has not had the best of luck so far in 2017.

Flashback to December, where my sweet little cat began to act out- hissing, biting, constant crying. Quite a change from my cuddly, social little buddy. After quite a bit of heistyness, we headed to the vet where she was diagnosed with colitis.

Sigh.

Medications were prescribed, liquid of course. The kind where you have to hold down a squirming, crying cat and shoot medicine down her throat. So traumatizing…for us both.

That quickly ran out…and her symptoms came back. Hence, another trip to the vet. Vet trips are traumatizing…How can stand to listen to a crying cat in the car for thirty minutes?!

News meds were prescribed, along with new food. Insanely expensive new food. And because her new meds were a powder and needed to be given twice a day, I was also swindled into buying the expensive prescription wet food, too.

Sigh.

And here we are, yet again. This time, we are here to have stitches removed…a follow up appointment. See, my sweet, energetic furbuddy had somehow entangled herself somewhere in my home two weeks ago. Fur…ripped out. Her neck…sliced open. Right through the top layer.

Sigh.

Insert a crying me, driving at insane speeds to race to the vet, only to have her rushed out of my arms to be prepped for surgery. “We need to clean and close the wound immediately. We will need to cut out the surrounding skin. Frankie will have to go under anesthesia and will have to stay and recover over night,” her too calm vet told me.

Insert me- overly emotional. Bawling my eyes out in the parking lot, freaking out, checking my phone every five minutes- waiting to hear from the vet that she was awake, that she was awake after her procedure- the whole way home.

My house had never been more lonely without her there…

So here we are, back at the vet again. This time, to get stitches removed and her wound examined… to make sure her wound is healing well and there is no infection. To follow up on her colitis issues. Some tests to be run…

I should be at school, with my students or at least laying on the couch at home (being sick is no fun). But here I am, at the vet, yet again…

Write. Share. Give.

 

Sundays are..

Standard

Sundays are… for slower mornings, deep relaxing breaths. Feet pulled up from the floor, tucked safely on the couch, sore from working two jobs. Lazy breakfasts while to do lists are formed, snuggling with my cat Frankie, who has missed me all week.

Sundays are… for cleaning house. Tackling the chores that have remained untouched the last few days- dishes to wash, light dusting to be done, floors to be washed.

Sundays are… for busier afternoons. For grocery shopping. Restocking the fridge for the week, prepping healthy meals for school lunches, planning dinners out for the week. Battling the crowds of shoppers, who all had the same idea. Cart jammed aisles, tired parents clucking after their children as they grab from the shelves, standing in long lines at the checkout. Running errands that need to be done, visiting Target (my favorite place on earth).

Sundays are… for lunching with friends. Catching up on the last few weeks, chatting about our current lives, enjoying the gossip and insight that is shared.

Sundays are… for quieter evenings. For playing catch up. Laundry to be washed and dried, folded and returned to its home, ready to take on the new week.  There are papers to grade, students words and perspectives to take in and consider, lesson plans for the week to be done.

Sundays are… for grilling out. Breaking out the grill to enjoy some slightly warmer weather. Less clean up, less dishes to wash, quicker clean up, tastier food.

Sundays are… for early nights. A little TV watching, catching up on a show or two.Unwinding from the busy day, relaxing in my freshly cleaned house. Off to bed to be ready to tackle a new week, a fresh week.

Write. Share. Give.