Monday, April 19, 2010

What A Day!

Well, guess what I have sitting on the dining room table? My youngest child's graduation announcements. The name cards, return address labels, thank-you notes, the 2010 announcements.........all of it. It was delivered to me at my school (thank goodness for thoughtful school secretaries - students or teachers CANNOT survive without them!!!).

It was so bittersweet to open the box. I really cannot describe all of the emotions I felt seeing my sweet boy's full name -Ethan Thomas Matheney- beautifully written on his name cards. It put a huge lump in my throat then........and now. I have feelings of great joy for having the privilege of being his mother and such regret for all of the time that flew by too quickly.

It occurred to me today, that I have had a child in school for 24 years. TWENTY-FOUR YEARS!!!! That is 1 year shy of being exactly 1/2 of my life! Having 2 other grown, adult children has given me first-hand experience at being a different kind of parent. It has its' perks.

I'm putting a great effort into celebrating each milestone with him, like always. I'm keeping the thoughts I have about his last high school events being mine, too. He's ready to move on. So, it's time for a whole new era in both of our lives.

I know that I talk a good talk but while I'm saying all of these logical things, I see my little red-headed, green-eyed toddler every time he comes in the door. I'll let you know when my vision returns to normal.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Out with the Old and In with the New

Yesterday was not only our first day back after Christmas break but it was our first day in our new elementary building. Oh, my goodness! It is a BEAUTIFUL building! This is my 29th year of teaching (Good grief, that sounds ancient!) and I've never taught in a building that was built for elementary students until .......yesterday.

The months prior to this event have been very stressful. We packed and moved WITH STUDENTS at school! I stayed after school many evenings to sort, toss,and pack things. I was determined NOT to take things I didn't need. That wasn't as easy as it sounds. It was hard to leave really good teaching materials that I bought myself and really like. But, the state of Ohio has determined that our children need to learn a certain set of indicators which they are tested on each spring. So, most things that were older than 3-4 years old, I left to be included in the upcoming auction.

We moved the week of Dec. 14-17. Having older students (5th graders), it could have been worse. Many of them were wonderful help for which I am grateful. My husband and son helped me a couple of evenings and I worked 2 days over my vacation to unpack and organize things.

Our rooms are so nice. Our hallway/rooms are accented with a deep, royal blue. All of the hassle and hard work was worth every minute of it to watch the 4-6 grades students enter the hallway yesterday morning. They all looked so happy! I am sure that some of them grew an inch or 2 over the break! Many of them had on new from Christmas, no doubt. It sure feels like a whole new year in many more ways than just a number on a calendar.

Hubby and I are on a new diet. Many prayers are needed :) Look out, 2010!!!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Can You Believe It's 2010???

Wow! Has it been 10 years since we were all concerned about Y2K and how everything was going to be all messed up when the clock struck midnight on 2000? Life just went right on, didn't it? I'll bet the computer geeks who sold all of those converter programs in 1999 are still laughing!

2009 is history. I turned 50 in '09. Time has certainly flown by.

My youngest child, my baby, will graduate from high school this year. It seems like only yesterday that I figured up the year that he would turn 18 and it seemed so far away.

I honestly cannot think of another event in my life that feels any more "bittersweet" than these 2 things. Somehow, I thought that I would feel much older than this. I'm kidding, of course. Some days I feel much older than 50.

I need the Lord's help daily with keeping a positive outlook on things. So with that in mind, I plan to look forward to:

my son's 18th birthday
his graduation and party
our 30th wedding anniversary

There will be plenty of other events to plan and participate in which is fine with me. I LOVE these kind of things! 2010 looks like another great year, already!

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Well, We're Moving On Up!!!

If you were around me for 5 minutes, it's easy to guess that I tend to think musically. For almost every phrase and/or situation, there is a song that comes to my mind. So, while you're reading this, hum the theme song to "The Jeffersons" :)

The school district that I work for, and live in, is building new elementaries. They are finished and we are moving into them in 2 weeks. This is so exciting but quite a chore, too. School is in session and we are teaching while trying to pack up. Add that to the holiday season and the stress-factor goes right off of the charts!

This is my 29th year of teaching (OK, so I'm getting old!) and I have never taught in a building that was built for young children. The elementary students always "inherited" the old high schools. The people in our area wouldn't vote for levies that would provide new elementaries. High school gymnasiums for basketball was far more important. So, to say that we are excited is an understatement.

The staff went on a brief tour of our new building this week and it is AWESOME!!!! Our principal did a great job with choosing colors and other details. Maybe one of these days, I'll figure out how to post pictures (I know it's not brain surgery) and share some on here.

Right now, it's stressful sorting, packing, etc. at school while trying to decorate and get ready for Christmas at home. But, it will so be worth it! For a couple of months now, our standard sentence starter has been "In the new building..........." like we are going to paradise.

It will be to us.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

On the Road, Again!

(Hum Willie Nelson's song when you read my title:)

Last Friday morning, my youngest son hit a deer on his way to school. Really, I should say that the deer hit him. The impact literally sheared the grill, headlights, AND THEIR SOCKETS right off of the front of his '93 Ford Ranger. Ethan could not avoid the 10-point buck that was running across the highway.

Ethan leaves about 5 minutes ahead of me every morning. I knew when the phone rang that it was either him or his dad saying they had hit a deer. All three of us drive approx. 10 miles to Peebles on scenic Ohio Highway 41. It goes past Woodland Altars Camp which is basically a game preserve. So, we watch for them every day, all year. We see them alone and/or in herds but they are a constant danger. He said that he was fine but he had no grill and no headlights --it was still dark. I told him if his truck was still running to get off of the road, turn it off, and wait for me.

As I approached the scene of the accident, I saw in the field near the road a HUGE buck sitting there, breathing heavily. He was lying down, kind of sitting up like cows do when they are resting. I could see steam coming from his nostrils where he was breathing hard in the cold air.

I was so relieved and very grateful to see that Ethan was fine. He was in his truck waiting for me. It was a good thing that I told him to turn the truck off because there was big puddle of anti-freeze running from under it. He and I were probably there 15-20 minutes making phone calls and waiting for my husband to get there. It was amusing to watch how many guys, on their way to work, slowed down and/or stopped to look at the wounded buck just sitting in the field. You could not tell that he was hurt, so it looked like this big buck was just resting out in the open. When we were going home that afternoon, though, the deer had died and was laying back farther in the same field. I'm sorry that the poor thing suffered but so glad my son wasn't injured.

Anyway, to make this long story have a happy ending........the insurance company allowed a great price for Ethan's '93 Ranger. So much so, that Papaw found another Ranger to replace it. Ethan now has a '01 Ford Ranger that has a lot more options on it than his old truck. It has more miles on it but is quite an upgrade. Note to self: ALWAYS carry "comprehensive coverage" on every vehicle. It payed off for us in a big way in this situation.

Ethan has a newer truck and maybe he knows that when I say "Be careful and watch for deer" whenever he leaves the house, there are good reasons.

Monday, September 21, 2009

So Today Is Your Birthday

So today is your birthday
That is what I've been told.
What a wonderful feeling
You are one more year old!
On the cake there'll be candles
All lighted for you.
And the whole world is singing.....
Happy Birthday to you!

Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday dear loved one!
Happy birthday to you!

I had the tremendous blessing of attending school in a little country school near my home. Most of my elementary years were spent in a double classroom. My grandma was my third and fourth grade teacher. There was a larger majority of girls in our class who just happened to love to sing. Grandma was a very talented musician who took great advantage of her musical class. She taught us so many songs.....We Gather Together, Beautiful Ohio, etc. Thankfully this was small town country living and no one objected to the religious songs we were taught.

Grandma, also, taught us some songs that I don't really know where she had learned them. I sing this little birthday song she taught us to my own students whenever one of them has a birthday. I call it "My Cheesy Little Birthday Song" which, of course, leads into the traditional verse that they all know. It just so happened that I had student who had a birthday today, so I sang it to her. This early in the year, they are just learning the words themselves. What is so sweet, is that, even though they are 10-11 years olds, they love to learn this little song and always want it sung to them.

As soon as I started singing it today, I fully realized today's date. September 21st was Grandma's birthday. She would have been 99 years old today. And, I couldn't help but think of how pleased she would have been to have heard her granddaughter singing it to a new generation of students.

My goodness, it made my heart ache for her. I do miss her so. I miss her humor, her wisdom, her wonderful laughter, her unshakable faith in the Lord, her joy in my successes, and sympathy when I needed that, too.

I am so grateful and thankful that my grandma is in heaven with our Lord and Savior today. I'm grateful for godly grandparents.

Happy Birthday, Grandma!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Project Complete!

It all started in April when I saw this wallpaper that I liked.
A few days later, I found very pretty bathroom towels at Kohl's that matched the wallpaper.
Slowly but surely, I gathered accessories to go in our tiny little downstairs half-bathroom. The wall color was difficult to match, so I carried the paint chip with me everywhere.
The room is only 5'3" X 6' with just a commode and sink. It has taken me all summer to finish this tiny room but IT IS FINISHED!!! Well, all but the handle and knobs for the drawers. I had to order what I wanted but.....who was in a hurry???

I love the wallpaper and the colors in the room. The paint is called "Sea Sprite" .....a light, misty bluish-green. The only other color is dark brown. I'll try to get a picture posted of it soon.

I would like to feel all smug about having accomplished something but, it has taken me all summer. At least, I have something finished before the first day of school. I think it looks great, if I must say so myself.