Well. It is official. Winter is here. There is no doubt about it anymore. We have all been going on our merry way, believing that this autumn has been so mild…except for those couple of snowfalls. But they melted! There wasn’t that much snow anyway! I never even got my boots out.
Times have changed. Yesterday we had our first blizzard of the season. Dance was canceled. The roads were slippery and visibility was not good. There were cars in the ditch all over the place. I shoveled. Jeff shoveled. The ice rink is on its way to being an actual sheet of ice.
Winter is here.
Christmas is coming.
Oh, I am SO not ready!
Update about Sarah:
She LOVED skiing. “It was awesome!” That was the response I got upon picking her up on Tuesday. Now, I am “encouraging” her to try out for the musical. She is nervous. She doesn’t want to because she doesn’t know anyone. This is the same child who has been in TWO high school plays. With High Schoolers. At the High School. Where she didn’t know anyone.
She is going to ask her friend to teach her the song that they have to sing, and she is also going to ask her choir director to help her. She has decided that next Thursday is when she will audition. I know she will do great. At least I hope that she can over-come this need to hide from everyone. She is so worried about how others are perceiving her. She doesn’t want to be noticed at all. I told her not to let “them” (whoever she is nervous about) let them keep her from being herself. This is HER THING. (And she knows it!) So. I really hope it goes well. I hope she fits in and finds her people. Her tribe. She needs one!
Okay. I have organized my papers and they are ready for me to grade, but. BUT. My 12-year-old is crying in the next room. I don’t know what to do! I really don’t. Sarah is not a risk taker. She is really nervous about anything new. She doesn’t like not know exactly how something is going to go. She has always been like this. Middle school has been challenging because EVERYTHING IS NEW.
So. I have been kind of “forcing” her to do things. Some things she has no choice, it is a part of school, but others are a choice. Like tomorrow is the first day of Snow Riders Club. They have a bus that takes them to the Ski Hill and they get to ski and I pick up at 6ish (I think? Maybe 6:30?). She has wanted to join this club, but then when it was time to join she didn’t want to anymore. So I talked her into going to the meeting (which was ON MY BIRTHDAY). We went to the meeting and then she was a little more positive, but still luke-warm. She reluctantly agreed to go so we turned in the registration. Everything was fine until this weekend, then she REALLY didn’t want to go. I kept it light and said that she would be fine.
Tonight was the melt down. She didn’t want to go. I told her that she only had to go on three runs and if she didn’t want to stay after that she could text me and I would go and get her. She seemed fine with that, but when I came upstairs…she was crying.
She came in when I was in the middle of writing that. We had a long talk. She is okay now. I talked to her about her inner “critic” that tells you everything negative about yourself and what could happen. I told her that we ALL have this critic. I also told her that she needed to be the boss of it, or it would make EVERYTHING seem bad. I told her that I have to physically shake my head to get that damn critic out of my head. I told her that she would be fine at the Hill. We have all skied there before. She knows how everything works. I walked her through how I thought it would go. She left my room smiling and calm.
But geez. It is so hard! If I didn’t
force encourage her to try these new things, she would not do anything because she is so scared of not knowing what to expect. But then I feel like I am causing her MORE stress by “encouraging” her. That is not my intention at all. However, I really feel like she needs to try stuff and be involved. She needs to be active. Sitting home alone is okay sometimes, just not all the time. I don’t know if I am doing the right thing or not. I know that most of the time when I “encourage” her to do something–and every time I do she pushes back with the “I don’t want to….” at the eleventh hour–she has fun, and is happy that she did it.
I guess it is hard for me to understand because I always wanted to do stuff. I didn’t get nervous about trying new things until college. I never had a problem signing up and going. I just hope I am being patient. I think I am. And, I hope I am doing the right thing. Ugh. Parenting is HARD.
Well, Today is the last day of November, and the end of Nablopomo. I didn’t quite post every day, but I am still happy with my performance. November is one of the busiest times for me work-wise, birthday-wise, and holiday-wise and I only missed five days out of 30. If this were for a grade I would be at 83%. That is still a “B” which is still above average. Most of those days I did post, just not in time. But, as you all know, late work is not accepted. I did if for the integrity of the task.
I had such fun posting this month. It was great to see others post every day too, and it felt like I was in cahoots with them. Posting everyday really does stretch me, but this month it was more about remembering and getting ANYTHING down than trying to be creative or interesting. Usually, when I do Nablopomo I begin to notice things about my life that go unnoticed because I am not paying attention. This time, I mostly was noticing how behind I am in my work and how busy I am. Not interesting, but it is the truth. Please accept my apologies for the boring words that were shared. When I look back at this month years from now, it will document my crazy life. And that make the boring posts worth it. And, maybe when I look at this in May, I will be able to try and do things a little bit differently so I am not so swamped, but I doubt it. It is just the nature of the beast.
I am not going to lie, I am kind of glad that I will have this off my plate for a while. But I will be back. I will focus on ending my semester, getting my Christmas shopping done (as well as all the other Christmas responsibilities), and then I will be back. I will try to be less lame in my posts too. But I am lame by nature, so don’t get your hopes up or anything.
Thanks for riding this wave with me! See you on the flip-side!
Today we got to sleep in. Woot! I got “up” and pulled my laptop onto my bed to begin working and that is where I stayed until one of my papers was submitted. One down, four to go!
But then, I got up for real and went downstairs to finish up the dishes from last night. Roasting pan, a few extra odds and ends. I called my mom while I was cleaning up and we talked for a long time. My dad is not doing well. She is kind of freaking out about being in California alone with him. She mostly worries about something happening to her because then what would happen to him? It sounds like she may choose to stay home after Christmas instead of heading back to California for the winter. She got weepy when she told me that. It sucks.
Yesterday we went to see Jeff’s mom in the nursing home. She looked awful. Just terrible. I seriously thought she looked like people in the concentration camp. She has lost a lot of weight, and they have cut her hair so it is about an inch long all over. She refuses to put her teeth in. It was not easy for my kids or for Jeff and me to see her like that. We left there with our hearts broken. Did I say that this sucks? Because it does.
Dinner yesterday was a success. Here is the menu:
Sliced Apples soaked in freshly squeezed lemon
Homemade caramel sauce
Variety of sliced cheeses
Variety of Crackers
Fancy Mixed Nuts
Fresh Roasted Turkey
Traditional Mashed Potatoes
Steamed and Sauteed Fresh Green Beans with Garlic
Canned Jellied Cranberry Sauce
Black and Green Olives
Buttered Crescent Rolls
Homemade Chocolate Pudding
Homemade Pumpkin Pie
Freshly Whipped Cream
Let’s just say, we were well fed. I didn’t put out the jigsaw puzzle because I have way too much to do right now. And? If there was a puzzle? I would totally do it instead of the stuff that needs to be done. Just like I am writing right now instead of finishing my next paper (almost two done!). The turkey was done to perfection, and the rest of the food was delicious. Jeff’s dad joined us for dinner, but was in a big hurry to leave. I think he was really sad because this was the first big holiday that Jeff’s mom missed. She was even here on the Fourth of July. He is talking about bringing her here for Christmas. I don’t think that is a great idea, but how do you say no? Good Grief.
So anyway…sorry for the depressing digression…after I talked with my mom, I came back up stairs to do another paper. I ALMOST finished before we had to go to Nicholas’ Hockey Tournament! It was a great game. They were neck and neck with the other team the whole time, but they pulled off the victory! It was an exciting end. We had two penalties so we only had three skaters. The other team pulled their goalie. So it was 6 on 3, and we held them! Yippee!
We play tomorrow at 12:00.
Turkey Tourney here we come! We all want that victory!
We had Thanksgiving dinner again tonight and I swear it tastes even better the day after! I hope everyone out there had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We certainly did, and I am staying in denial that the Christmas Season is upon us. Because, at least in MY house, IT ISN’T.
I am so grateful that I wrote my list yesterday. It really does change your perspective. It helped me decide to have another Thanksgiving with Roses on my table. They aren’t as spectacular as the last time, but they make me so happy.
I am just popping in this morning in the dark, quiet beginning of Thanksgiving to let you all know how thankful I am for your friendship. It is such a blessing to be able to visit your sites and get to know you, and then on the flip-side have you visit here. Such a blessing.
Wishing all of you a peaceful day of gratitude. And I hope all those turkeys out there are honored for providing us with our traditions and our sustenance.
Love Wins Today.
** spell check ** my bed ** sunsets ** my husband’s wit ** hugs of any kind ** my laptop **roses **post-it notes **my mom’s chocolate chip cookies (under baked) ** warm socks ** being able to read ** dogs (especially my own Franklin) ** faith ** Sarah ** Katie ** Nicholas ** deodorant** having my own office ** carmex ** my bedside light ** BOOKS ** our new roof (that is DONE!) ** Anne Lamott ** great friends (!) ** the full moon at rising ** reading out loud ** full body massages ** television ** being adopted into my family ** being able to type without thinking about it ** Jeff ** method brand soap ** french kissing ** my students ** crickets at the end of summer ** a husband who is an AMAZING cook ** hair color ** sunrises ** singing songs with my kids ** Dean’s Dip with Sour Cream and Cheddar Potato Chips ** the sun ** pedicures ** our home ** my job ** indoor plumbing ** ziplock bags ** my teachers (past & present) ** my pillow ** my phone ** knowing how to knit & crochet ** polite people ** Aveda hand therapy ** The maple tree outside my window ** mashed potatoes ** non-stick cookware ** autumn light ** tulips ** my health ** chocolate ** Sam’s new baby (SQUEEE!) ** the internet ** my mom ** Bon Jovi ** the ocean ** freedom ** democracy ** my sight ** BLOGS ** NPR ** technology ** having enough ** my van (even though it is a van) ** being able to dream ** my sister ** hand-me-downs ** pizza ** freshly mowed grass in the summer ** bald eagles ** deer ** experiencing “flow” ** my past experience teaching elementary school ** Reading Recovery ** loving to learn ** curiosity ** holidays spent with family ** access to good health care ** being able to fix the dishwasher myself (!) ** weekend naps ** Dr. Pepper ** purple pens ** going out to eat ** holiday rituals ** good conversations ** Target ** good grocery stores ** Mexican food ** snap dragons ** my dad ** seeing how I make a difference (every once in a while) **
I went over, and erased some, but I need to say that I am thankful that Elizabeth challenged me to do this. I had to pause a couple times, but wow. The blessings flow. Gratitude is another thing to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving Eve!
Well, the rubber is meeting the road. I am awash in deadlines…all coming at once.
Last night LATE I finished a new common course outline and sample syllabus for the brand spankin’ new course I will be teaching next fall. It is an accelerated course combining both the lower-level and the upper-level developmental classes. I will be charged with getting some of the lowest readers to college level in one semester. This terrifies me and exhilarates me at the same time. I think some students can do this, but others? No way. We are letting students self-select this course, I hope only those who are confident and read well will choose to take it.
Today, I have to do SOMETHING with my part in the program review. I have no idea what that something is yet, but I need to do SOMETHING. I also have to grade some papers. And, plan my tutoring lesson for tomorrow. And, start thinking about THANKSGIVING. I am taking deep breaths.
But, the most important thing for me to do today is to hold Sam in my heart. She is having her baby today, four weeks early. I hope you will join me in sending her prayers and good thoughts and well wishes. A whole new person will join their family today! I hope it is a peaceful transition.