Saturday, March 31, 2018

Slice of Life Day Thirty One: How Did You Do That?





31 days.
I feel like my writing groove is coming back.
But how?  How do you really write everyday?
Some reflections on what I did to prepare and sustain this month.


Before March:
In February, when every other day was an ice storm and we all had the flu, I was on the couch.  (In an ice storm, with a fever--that as probably the flu.)  I made a 31 point list with topics to write about each day.  So when March hit, I wouldn't have to worry and fret about "what" I was going to write about.  I stuck to some themes and sub-topics to get me started:

  • What I'm reading.  (Go here to see a link up on Mondays:  http://www.teachmentortexts.com/#axzz5BKq51lre)
  • Ideas around pedagogy, management, assessment.
  • My One Little Word:  Abide  
  • What I'm Eating.  
  • Fun Topics!  Ideas to get to know each other a little better and to share more of our story.  
  • Celebrations.  Ruth Ayres hosts some celebrating each weekend.  Check out her blog:  https://ruthayreswrites.com/
During March:
I wrote.  It just became a priority.  My husband noted in January, "You are happiest when you are running and writing."  A side comment for him, a truth bomb for me.  So I've been fighting like hell to get those two things back in my schedule.  
I wrote before I sat on the couch at night.
I wrote while snuggled up on the couch in the morning.
I wrote before I watched tv, scrolled through a phone, tuned out for the night.

The Growth:
I know, I'm preaching to the choir, but the more I wrote, the more I found my story. 
Here are 3 posts from this month that I'm pretty proud of:
http://simplylearningtogether.blogspot.com/2018/03/slice-of-life-day-thirteen-first-grade.html

  • This post allowed me to share my classroom story a bit.  It was a moment that I felt like my vision and the work of that all came together.  


http://simplylearningtogether.blogspot.com/2018/03/slice-of-life-day-twenty-outline-for.html

  • This is a topic I continue to be passionate about.  I will continue to share thoughts and discoveries on this.  


http://simplylearningtogether.blogspot.com/2018/03/slice-of-life-day-twenty-nine-laughable.html

  • This is probably my most vulnerable piece of writing.  And probably the most that I will share about my last year.  I see this piece of my story as being more of a storytelling piece to share verbally.  But I always think sharing our stories can help.  If this piece helps someone see something than I did what I wanted it to do.

  • Food is such a big part of who we are as a family, I may end up writing each week about this.  
What's next:
More writing.  I'm opening up a notebook to try out some poetry.  

I'm also considering extending my streak.  

We'll see!  

Congratulations for your writing accomplishments.  

Joy!
Kendra







Friday, March 30, 2018

Slice of Life Day Thirty: I Think I Always Knew I Was Going To Be A Teacher



Talking with my hands, pretty confidently.  

In my cozy chair with a book.  

Just enough sass.  A cute Skirt, and I guarantee that I'm wearing sneakers.  

I see the finish line.  Let's Finish this challenge!  

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Slice of Life: Day Twenty Nine: Laughable.



Dear Friends,
This post has been brewing all day.  Maybe for a year or more.  Thanks for being kind as I let a little more out.  I wanted to explore a bit of what it's like to write and be vulnerable and honest as I share my story a little more. 

A year ago these three things were a part of who I was (all at the same time):

1.  A Case of Strep Throat.

2.  A dog wearing an E-collar after eye surgery.  He eventually lost sight in his right eye after running into a stick chasing a squirrel.

3.  A Job Situation that would make many of us run for the hills.  And I started to.  Because I didn't feel like I had a choice. 


Oh man.  Did I struggle not to become the jaded old lady who wanted to only talk about these three things. 

I spent a lot of time with my Mr. 
I closed my circle in a little further. 
I quit writing. 
I quit running.
I slept.  A Lot.
Well.  That's not a healthy list. 


I took up Bible reading, because I knew if I was going to make it, I had to let everything fall away and let there be only Jesus.  Wowza.  That part was HARD.  Because I can do this thankyouverymuch.  And at that point, what else did I have left emotionally?  Not much.  Also, may I gently say, notice I said Jesus and not the church.  Sometimes seeing the wrong side of the church can be soul crushing.  And church was crushing mine at the time.  I went.  I sat in the back.  I cried.  I left early.  I visited lots of different ones to stay invisible.  Because I only wanted to be seen by Jesus. 

So.  After a year.  A Year that wasn't without more to add to the list, here I am. 

And the stress of last year? 

Laughable.  

Why? 

Because I sit here this year with two new things:

  • values clarification.  I feel pretty rooted in what I value at this point.  I don't feel like I'm struggling at this point to know what I feel is important.  (In case you are wondering, Love is at the center of these values.  Because everyone of us deserves that.  Everyone.  I will Always lead with love.  Which might be translated into feeding you something.)
  • a protected heart.  After a lot of clawing, crying, laying down, getting back up again, and crying some more, I came out on the other side.  And I know that I was being protected spiritually from things that won't ever deliver what my heart seeks.  
I can abide in what I know protects my heart and values:
  • Quiet time with Jesus.  (Reading.  A Lot.)
  • Time at home.  With Mr.
  • I'm writing again.  
  • I'm running again.
  • Sharing Love.  
  • Spending time with wise, discerning women.  That is critical to my well-being.  
The joy of coming out of this journey?  I can see it as laughable.  

I'll take that.  



Joy!  (In the laughing.)
Kendra



Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Slice of Life Day Twenty Eight: Self Care for When It's Really Hard.





A few days ago, I wrote about self care here.

But no.  Really.  What about the days when you leave at 7 AM, and arrive home at 8 PM? 

My secret?  I don't do all those things I wrote about before. 

When days are long, and I am away from my house for 13 hours, here is what that looks like:

1.  I still eat.  
Today, I had a smoothie, more Diet Dr. Pepper than I should admit, soup, a chicken sandwich.  I also had some turkey sausage as a snack.  I can't get hungry on days like this.  So I always have a plan about what I'm going to eat.  I confess. I get hangry.  No good comes of this. 

2.  When I'm home, I rest.  
When it's possible, only good vibes here people.  I snuggle my people and pets.  I put on pants with elastic.  I get under my favorite blanket.  I read.  I write.  I visit with my people.  I drink coffee in the AM, and tea in the PM.  Those dishes don't bother me.  They will be there later. 

3.  I work my plan.  
Last night, before the crazy started today, I made a plan.  I knew what I needed to do about every 30 minutes.  And I stuck to it pretty faithfully.  Not in a "No time to visit, I need to stick to my schedule" kind of way, but a "I'm here for many hours, let's make this work" kind of way.  

That's it.  Eat.  Rest.  Work the plan.  
Some days, that is all we can do.  

Continue to give yourself a LOT of grace.  
You are doing enough.

Joy!
Kendra

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Slice of Life Day Twenty Seven: Leaning into a Crisis





Friends.  Have you read this book?

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I'll wait.  Go read this.  It won't take long. 

So, I want to talk about leaning into crisis. 

We had to lean in before we knew it was okay.

And then this book encouraged me to not shy away from the tough topics. 

So this year, when it hard topics came up, we got busy. 



This year, my students are especially interested in homelessness and how to help.  
Were first graders ready to tackle this topic?
Yes.  

First I applied for a Thrivent Grant.

Then I started buying fleece like it's running out!  

And the kids.  They are still tying blankets.  And they know they are helping.  The blankets will go to a local homeless organization.  

It was Smokey Daniel's Book that encouraged me not to back away from these tough topics.  
I could write for days on this book.  It is so encouraging in so many ways.  

Go get it.  

Joy!
Kendra

Monday, March 26, 2018

Slice of Life Day Twenty-Six: The Limbacks Go to the Book Fair







Hey!  It's book fair time!

I happen to be co-chairing the book fair as well.

Let's have a peek-sie, shall we?



It's taking up an entire classroom, because that is how we roll.  One of these girls walked in this morning and said, "It's like a Book Land in here..."  

Be still my heart.  
I can retire now.
(Just kidding.  It's not time for that.)

#teacherwholovestoreadgoals

So, my boys joined me after school.  Here's what we came home with:


Mr. Got a book too.  So this stack is for 4 of us.  

My favorite part?  My 9 year old was having a hard time choosing books because there were so many he wanted to read.  I've waited 9 years for that.  

So we have a stack to keep us busy for a moment or so.

What are you reading this week?

Joy!
Kendra




Sunday, March 25, 2018

Slice of Life Day Twenty Five: A Teacher Needs to Eat





I love slowing down on Sundays to just make some good food.

Here's what's on the menu:


It's a crock-pot potato soup.  I found the recipe on Pinterest, but it didn't have a link, just a picture if that makes sense.   So here's how it went down:

Put a 32 ounce bag of frozen hash browns in the crock pot followed by:  
32+ ounces of broth.  I used vegetable.  But chicken works too.  I always have to add water to this soup, so that's why I said 32+.  I usually add a cup of water.  
Also add 1 can of cream soup.  I like to use cream of potato.  
Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Before serving, stir in a block of cream cheese and let it melt.  

Serve with shredded cheese, croutons, bacon bits...whatever suits your fancy.  



Now...a confession.  I.Love.Cookbooks.  
You may know this about me.  I've confessed it before.  
This weekend we were at the library, and I came home with 4 new cookbooks to flip through.  

These two I'm considering purchasing:

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We've been looking to continually clean up our diets while we take on running again.  These two have some great, tasty looking meals that I think we can swing!  (And isn't that the catch?)

These two were great to look at!  
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I loved looking at this one!  I marked some things to look up online later.  
Traditional cook books like this tend to not work for our food allergy-ness.   I maybe can pull one or two recipes out, but that's it.  

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This book is so creative.  And hello!  Macaroni and cheese?  Featured in a book?  Yes.  
It is a beautiful book.  I have tucked on a wish list for another day.  

What are you eating these days?
Joy!
Kendra