Change 

Good morning! 

Yesterday was a day of change. 

That’s what life is all about. If you can’t be flexible, and roll with the change, you will struggle. I have spent many a day in that struggle. But not anymore. Now I embrace change. I’m flexible. I want to learn and grow. 

Today my principal came into room 309. She sat in my rocker and gathered my class around her on the floor, and explained to them that when they return from Winter Break, Mrs. Carnes’ classroom, room 309, will no longer be. It is dissolving. Each of the dozen students I had will be going to different classrooms, and Mrs. Carnes is needed to teach fourth graders reading and math as a resource teacher.

I knew about rhis prior, but she wanted to personally come tell them before they heard it from anyone else.. I love that about her. We’re the biggest elementary in TPS, and she has the biggest heart to go along with it when it comes to her kids. 

When she opened it up for any questions, one 2nd grader raised his hand. She called him by name. He asked “How do you know my name?” Her reply was “Just magic.” I know differently. I know its hard work. Research. She’s all about building relationships with our studenrs. And she walks the talk. 

Numbers. It’s all about numbers. Special education student numbers are on the rise. Yet as she sat in my rocker she spoke to them from her heart. On their level. She left me with a letter for each of them to be sent home to their parents and guardians explaining the upcoming changes. She told them Ill be calling each of their parents next week when we kno who their new teachers will be. And I’ll walk each of them to their new rooms and introduce them to their new teachers personally. It went as well as could be expected. 

I’m now ready to take on my new challenge. In just a fee short weeks. 

The best analogy that comes to mind is this. My training wheels have been removed. My first semester ran smoothly,, similar to a child coasting along with training wheels. It’s now time to remove them. Ready, set, go. I’ve been pushed down an incline with no extra wheels to help me. 

It’s exhilarating. It’s overwhelming. I’m scared to death to tackle such a huge challenge. But Im excited to. Teach just one grade. Ive been teaching five in room 309, 2nd through 6th.No more science and social studies. I always loved roller coasters. All those same feelings all bundled up into one. Here we go! 

I am blessed with a great team, a support system there to catch me if I should fall. 

I’m all about reading. And writing. My passion is to help students learn to read and write. 

It’s now just on a different level that I’m needed. The change was not something I anticipated, but it is something that I will embrace. I will go with the flow. I will be where my school leaders feel I am best suited and needed. 

My heart aches a little due to the bonds I formed with my dozen, but that cannot be taken away. As she told them yesterday, they can still visit Mrs. Carnes, just now in room 132. They’ll see me in the halls, and they will forever be in my heart. I love this kids! They were my foundation. 

My parting advice is this. Be careful what you pray for. I prayed for God to put me where I could make a difference. I didnt ask for a change. But evidently He did.

I will forever cling to one of my favorite verses, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” For each moment I feel weak that I cannot do this, the journey that God has laid before me, I remember that verse, and I keep taking one step at a time. 

As I look forward to the journey that lies ahead of me, wherever God might take me, I pray for my dozen in room 309. That each of them will continue to grow and learn to the best of their ability. That they will be kept safe and provided for. That they will feel loved and valued wherever they may go, and that they will always know that Mrs. Carnes loves them. 

I’m ever so thankful for my days in room 309. Nine more to go! I can’t wait to see what we can do with those! We may be dissolving, but we will give it our best ’til the end! 

I love you all and Miss Mary too!

See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of my father who is in heaven.                                          Matthew 18:10

Love and laughter,

Sandy

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The Book Fair

Good morning! 

This week the Book Fair is in town. At Kendall-Whittier Elementary School library.

On Monday we got to go as a class at our allotted time and peruse the displays of hundreds of books. On every subject imaginable. And then some. 

You could be a princess or a dog rescuer. a ninja or an athlete. You could fly to galaxies unknown. You could build to the stars. You could color or write on fancy paper under lock and key with pretty pink or invisible ink. You could be anything you believed you could be between the covers of a scholastic book. 

All it takes is a little imagination and the ability to read. Which for many of my students is still a dream. Not their reality. 

Each of my students was so excited to get to go to the book fair, to get their own books, posters, or trinkets. Many of them brought money or a parent from home so they could take part in the festivities.

In a world where the internet seems to be our main source of knowledge and communication, I certainly have seen a lot of paper books moved in and out of our library the past several days.

I love real books! I love to turn the pages, to turn to the back and read the last page first. To use a fancy bookmark.

I’ve never owned a Kindle. I guess it’s the journalist in me. Or the old lady. I want real books. I love bookshelves with rolling ladders that reach the top shelves. I’ll choose the book over the movie any day. 

How about you? What do you love?Where do you go to lose yourself? 

Let’s all have our special interests, but I hope and pray, especially at this time of year, that somewhere along the way we lose our self in more than a fictional account of the daily heresay that we find on social media. That instead we lose who we are in worshiping who he is. The little baby lying in the manger. For that is where our true identity is found. 

Books are great! And literacy is so very important. But salvation is the key. It unlocks the door. To our eternity. Why not pick up a copy of the best book there is? Today!

Your bible.

And read.

Get lost in it. It, too, can take you to places you’ve only dreamed of, and allow you to accomplish things you’ve never imagined. It’s the book of all books. Open it today!

For the word of God is alive and active.                                            Hebrews 4:12

Love and laughter, 

Sandy

Lost

Good morning! 

Have you ever lost something? 

And retraced your steps a hundred times to try and find it? 

I have! And I just did! 😲

The diamond in my wedding ring felt to me as if it was loose and moving, so I took it off, and put it in the pouch it came in, and placed it with the rest of my jewelry.

Saturday came, and I had several errands to run. I took it out to stop by the jewelry store and have them check it. Errand one done. Check. Errand two complete. Check. Errand three. Check. It was time for the jewelry store. I reached in my purse, and there was no pouch. I panicked. I searched everywhere in the car, turned my purse inside out, checked with the earlier errands, went home and even went so far as to climb in our dumpster io look for it. Fortunately  it was a new one, and we only had two things in it. 

No ring. 😔 

I had to tell my husband with the heaviest heart I’ve ever had that I’d lost the wedding ring he had made for me. 

We got in the car and drove to the places I’d just been to retrace my steps again to no luck. I went home and for whatever reason, I looked in the kitchen trash can. I’d just put a new bag in it the evening before.  It had two things in it. A  wadded up white paper towel from the morning coffee, and the little white pouch holding my ring. 

Thank you Jesus!  What was lost is now found!  Its value was great, but not just in dollars, in sentiment. 

Have you ever thought about how valuable you are to our God? 

For all those out there that are lost, do you know how often God may retrace his steps in trying to reclaim his lost?  He created you! He is constantly trying different paths to reach you, all in the name of helping you be found. His lost child.

Let’s all help in the search of that which is lost. Let’s live our lives as an example to others of God’s plan.  Let’s show them the way to be found. God and all heaven will rejoice as I did when I found my ring when one soul is found!

But the father said to his servants, “Quick, bring the best robe, and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fatted calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate for the son of mine was dead and is alive again. He was lost and is found.                                                    Luke 15:22-24

Love and laughter,

Sandy

The Stockings Were Hung

Good morning! 

Today denotes twelve more school days until Christmas break. So guess what that means? 

The twelve days of Christmas!

Each of my dozen students has a stocking hung in room 309. There are no chimneys to hang them by. Except for the paper one I made, that is. But they are hung with care. By me.  

Through the stockings, I hope to teach them. For some, this is all the Christmas they will receive.  

There are twelve gifts for each of them in their stockings. One for each day. I want to teach them about patience, one of their Toolbox skills. One gift a day. One day at a time. Anything worth having is worth waiting for. 

I hope to teach them about just being a kid. To play. To imagine. To learn. To explore. To laugh. To simply have fun. With gifts just for kids. Things like nail polish and jewelry for the girls. And balls and legos for the boys. Christmas socks, candy canes, chocolate candy coins, popcorn, hot chocolate, crayons, coloring books, card games, slime and bubbles for all. 

To teach them about good clean living. With things like toothbrushes and chapstick and the necessities we all need. And also by modeling healthy words and deeds along the way.

And I hope to teach them about love. And believing in something. Something greater than themselves. And also believing in themselves.  

Their last gift is a bell. To represent believing. After watching The Polar Express. Attached to it is a letter.  To each one of them personally written by me. About their strengths. About what they mean to me. About what I believe they can accomplish. 

This Christmas, may your stockings be hung by your chimneys with care. And may they be filled with those things you need and desire. And may your hearts be filled as well. With love!

Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.                                                    Luke 3:11

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Blue!

Good morning!

It’s a boy! 

Gender revealed.                                     A baby boy is on its way! 💙

Our families are so excited to see our lineage carrying on! Through the upcoming birth of a baby boy.

Can you imagine how Mary and Joseph felt? And the rest of the world? When they heard the news of the upcoming birth of a baby boy! An extra special one that would save the world. That came to us all near this very time of year. In a manger. 

I can’t even imagine!

But I can imagine my daughter’s excitement. I’m so excited for her! A boy was their preference. Although they would certainly have embraced whatever God gave them. 

After three daughters, I welcome some testosterone being brought into our family. Now two of my daughters will have sons as their first born.  The pressure’s on Lauren! 😊

Congratulations Maddee and Andrew! I’m so happy for you both! Here’s to blue! And frogs and snails and puppy dog tails, everything that little boys are made of.  

What this little boy is being made of is Maddee and Andrew. Maddee’s eyes and Andrews hair. Or maybe Andrew’s eyes and Maddee’s hair. We’ll see when he gets here. One thing we do know is that he will be born into this world with His father’s spirit. He has been created by God in His image just like you and me. He will be beautiful and perfect and loved by us all. 

Welcome William…Hensley! We can’t wait for you to join our family ! 

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior who is Christ the lord.                                                      Isaith 9:6

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Pink or Blue

Good morning! 

This afternoon I am going to a gender reveal party. What makes it so special is it is for my baby girl. 

Don’t get me wrong.  She knows her gender. She’s very secure in it. So secure that she’s a female that she’s used it to become a mama. 

She’s revealing the gender of her unborn child today at 2:00. 

My third grandchild. Her first child.

Pink or blue.

Which will it be? 

Do I buy bows or balls? Dolls or trains? 

A smoke bomb shot off into the air will reveal. For all to see.

Pretty eventful day. 👪

What are you excited about?  What in your life has you wanting to shout from the rooftops? Shoot smoke bombs off into the air?

I hope each of you experience something in this life worth such celebration. 

Being a child of God, born into His kingdom is certainly enough for me!

Congratulations Maddee and Andrew! I can’t wait to see if it’s pink or blue! And I can’t wait to meet my new little grandchild in May! Love you all! 💗💙
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises.                                      Psalm 98:4
Love and laughter. 

Sandy

Gingerbread Houses

Good morning!

 Everywhere I look there’s building going on. At my home and in my classroom. In room 309 we are each building our own gingerbread house. 

Lots of shapes and angles make up a gingerbread house. And you can measure its perimeter and see how much it weighs. You can count how many pieces of candy are on each. You have to measures the ingredients that make up the icing, fractions at their finest! You can make patterns with the pieces. The math is endless. 

As well as the imagination. The only limitations are the supplies and time to make them in each day. 

When was the last time you let your imagination run wild? Created something from scratch? 

I can only imagine, it’s been too long. 

This holiday season I challenge you to get creative. Make something. With your own two hands. Learn to knit a scarf. Paint a picture over a glass of wine with loved ones. Design a wreath for your front door. Or better yet! Make a gingerbread house! 

Let your inner self guide you. Be a kid again. See through the eyes of a child. The wonder. The excitement.  Try believing again. It’s magical.

Try it. And just so you know, it’s best done in the company of young children. Find some. Your own do best. Or your grandchildren will do very nicely. Or borrow your neighbor’s. And wear pajamas. Fun flannel ones, brightly colored. And drink hot chocolate. It elevates your sense of wonder. Here’s to the holidays, the believing, the wonder, tbe creating, the shopping, the pajamas, and the hot chocolate.  The time of year for children. May each of you enjoy their presence. Today and always.

“Truly I tell you,” He said. “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”                                        Matthew 18:3

Love and laughter,

Sandy