Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Not "Working" ?!

I've been so busy and yet it's not because I'm substitute teaching. I officially retired in April - an end to my almost 8 year saga.  After the wedding for Janna last December, and through the holidays, and into the new year I was sick.  I hadn't worked in a while because of it all.  It was hard for me to get back out there.  I started to get this feeling that I was done with subbing in spite of plenty of opportunities to work.  It was more of a struggle for some reason. I felt a little disconnected from it all.

Substitutes got a great pay increase in our school district, but it didn't matter.  My reasons for working had passed even though I would have been happy to have some extra money. I soon realized I was done in spite of all the good reasons I could think to keep working. I have moved on and definitely filled my time with other things.

I share one last substitute story as I close this chapter of my life. There was a little Hispanic boy I had been servicing for some time. I repeatedly substituted for his Resource teacher.  He liked me to say it mildly.  He told me that he bet his grandma and I would be great friends if we knew each other.

School can be difficult and even more so for someone who is big for their age, has an unsightly birthmark on their face, a Spanish accent, and sent to Resource throughout the day.  He had challenges more than most. He never talked about his mother.  It was always grandma and his dad. He was quite a delight in spite of all his struggles.  I wish he knew that. He had such great potential, but like all of us it is hard to see our way clear when we are down.

Sometimes he would lean his head on my shoulder while I was helping him.  When he would see me out on campus other than the classroom he would run and grab my hand to walk with me.  If he hadn't seen me at school in a while, receiving a big hug from him as a greeting was no surprise.  I suppose none of that was "appropriate" when it comes to interacting with a student.  I don't push or pursue that kind of contact, but I certainly don't reject it.  He had a need and I made sure I was always loving and kind in my dealings with him

This experience is an example of those moments when you knew you were making a difference in the life of a child.  There is a lot I don't miss about subbing, but moments like this I will certainly miss. He was one of the reasons I didn't want to stop subbing.  I didn't want to leave him and many others, but it was time.

"Every child has a different
learning style and pace.
Each child is unique,
not only capable of learning
but also capable of succeeding."
-- Robert John Meehan

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

My Hero

"America needs heroes. You don't have to be larger than life to be a hero, just larger than yourself. I see heroes everyday--scout masters, primary teachers, missionaries, campaign volunteers, parents. I hope you will choose to be a hero because we need a lot more of them."

Mitt Romney
BYU Forum
November 18, 2014

Sister Jessica Lockhart
Brazil Sao Paulo West Mission
Rua Doutor Rui Batista Pereira, 165
Jardim Caxingui-Sao Paulo-SP
CEP: 05517-080

So late making this post, and even so, so proud of this girl - my niece, Jessica Lockhart - serving in Sao Paulo, Brazil as a missionary. Love reading her letters. She's an inspiration.  She's my roll model.  "I hope they call me on a mission . .  ." someday.

She's been out over a hear and will now be home in less than six months and then back to school. Check her out on the blog her mom (my sister) is keeping for her with all her letters and pics:

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Elder and Sister Reynders

Called to Serve
Elder and Sister Reynders
Mississippi Jackson Mission
175 Burnham Road
Brandon, MS  39042

at the iconic map at the MTC

They are outta here!  80 couples joined my brother and his wife as they entered the MTC  yesterday for a week. Elder and Sister Reynders will also go to Salt Lake City for another week for some special training.  Mark will be serving as the mission nurse.  They'll head out to Mississippi after that. I'm excited to hear about all their doings. Their parents both served missions, but now it's time for the next wave of senior missionaries from the next generation.  Mark and Jo are leading the way in the family and I'm excited for them. Hoping to follow in their footsteps someday - CALLED TO SERVE!

“O ye that embark in the service of God,
see that ye serve him with all your heart,
might, mind and strength,
that ye may stand blameless before God
at the last day.
“Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God
ye are called to the work.”

Doctrine and Covenants 4:2-3

Friday, January 1, 2016

Red Letter Year

It's more than just a red letter day.  It's going to be a
Red Letter Year. Here are my 2016 goals:

2015 was not a good year for blogging.  I suppose with blogging I rode a wave that has come and gone in it's popularity, but it's still out there.  My posts were meager this year in more ways than one and I struggled with my new computer which is older now and I'm still not sure how to work it, hence, I have picture issues.  Ugh!  Why do my pictures disappear? I lack the skills - don't I know it!

Well, in spite of my set backs, I'm going to keep blogging.  That was one of my goals for 2015 because my blog was waning even in 2014.  I was not successful, but I will carry on in the hopes of doing better.

I said I'd lose weight.  Happily I did!  But it's still a goal for the new year.  I've got more to do.
I will lose weight!

I was very successful I think with indexing and I've done more with research too.  I pretty much index a batch a day and plan to continue, but as the year went on I started doing research a little everyday too. I will continue both.  My researching has improved my family tree, but I have not been diligent in assembling names for the temple.  I want to get better at that.  Also I bought DNA test kits for Hugh and I last year and we haven't done it yet.  Hope there's not an expiration date on it. It's not suppose to be difficult, but it seems to be for me.  I need someone to just hold my hand to get it done and take me through the process and if that's what it takes I guess I'll do that.  It's kind of like pictures and my new computer - it's more of a struggle than it needs to be, but admittingly, it's still a big struggle. Hoping to get this resolved in 2016 if not sooner.  DNA test and submit names for temple ordinances.

I've kept a Thank You Journal pretty consistently for two years now.  Hopefully I'll just be more thankful now without going through this exercise.  I'm going to try something different my sister, Beth, suggested - A Good Turn Daily.  It's Scouting terminology for serving everyday. I'm going to try and record this information daily in my little journal instead of my thanks and see what the results are.

I have a number of other goals, but this is all I'll put here on the blog.  Hopefully my blogging will improve, I'll be lighter, I'll have DNA results to share and get better at submitting names to the temple.  I also look forward to rendering more service.  I already think of myself as being serviceable, but I think I can always do more - maybe more for the people closest to me.

2016 here I come!

"As we emulate His example,
we will bless lives,
including our own."
—Thomas S. Monson,
general conference, October 2015