Monday, March 25, 2013

A Great Tragedy

Hello darlings!  I apologize for my absence.  Last Saturday, March 15, my mom went home to be with Jesus.  It was a complete shock.  My mom was only 55.  She was healthy and led a vibrant life.  I went back and forth wondering if I should share the details of that day, thinking that it would be therapeutic to write about it.  Right now, I just don't think I am strong enough to tell it again and remember the horrific pain she was in.  I can say, my dad and I were there with her when she took her last breath.  My very best friends  rushed up to the hospital when I texted them that I didn't know what was happening.  Oh, thank God for them!

It turns out that my sweet mama died of a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in her lung).  The doctors say there is nothing you can do to prevent something like this.  It just happens.  The ONLY thing that helps me is my Jesus and knowing she is up in Heaven with my brother Jeremy.

I wanted to share my Eulogy with you.  I want everyone to know how AMAZING my mom was (and forever will be).

"Life isn’t fair.  We hear it all the time starting when we are very  young.  We tell our mom and our teachers, “That’s not fair,” and their reply?  “Life’s not fair.”  I say it to my own students.  This is a very difficult lesson to learn; One that I still deeply struggle with.  Was it fair that my mom was taken from me?  That I will never have her at my wedding or see her with her grandkids?  She was my very best friend.  I did everything with her.  She knew me better than I knew myself.  She was there for every heartache as my rock, Every scrape and sickness as my comforter, every joy as my greatest cheerleader.

She would text me every night “Sweet Dreams. Love you” and I would say “Ditto.”   I saw her everyday as I dropped my dog Cullen over to her house before work to play with Roxie.  We joked that one day I would be dropping off my children instead.  On Saturdays, we would go grab Chickfila from the drive through and just sit in the car and talk.  Then we would have an afternoon of shopping. We had a very special bond that I will always keep in my heart. She was my everything. So, no, life isn’t fair and I hate it.  It just kills me and I know my world will never be the same. 

But I have to remember what my Jesus said.  He never said life was going to be fair.  In fact, he said we would endure trials and tribulations.  In John 16:33, Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble." Notice that Jesus does not say "if" but "you will" face trouble.  This is so hard for all of us to understand. But God is mysterious and we aren’t supposed to know it all.

All I can do is what my Heavenly Father tells me. In James  2-4 he says Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. 3 For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.

I already felt like I could endure all the testing possible after losing my little brother when he was only 20.  I thought our family had experienced the ultimate tragedy.  Little did I know that I would lose my mama just 7 years later and I would have to watch my family deal with horrific loss all over again.  The hope I have, is that I am still fighting.  I am closer to God than I was before my brother and I know I grow closer to Him still.  Jesus is my lifeline.

I am not sad for my mom.  I know she is in Heaven.  I know the first thing she did was hug Jesus and then run straight into the arms of her little boy.  I know her heart and body is free from pain.  She is free.  She is HOME! I know Jesus told her how proud he was of her.  She did so much good on this Earth.  I have NEVER known ANYONE with such a pure, loving heart.  When I was younger, I would get embarrassed because she would write notes about Jesus on our receipt for the waiter along with her big tip.  I would be embarrassed when she would just talk to a random stranger who looked like they needed help.

 As I got older, I just knew that was mom and that Jesus made some people fearless or she just did what we are all supposed to be doing.  I remember just the other day in Deirburgs, there was an old lady who was in the store trying to set the alarm for her car.  My mom stopped and asked if she needed help.  The lady said yes and what she was trying to do.  My mom told her how you can put the clicker up to your chin to use as a conductor so the signal can go farther.  She did it and her car alarm set.  Again, how many people do you know even pay attention to other shoppers?  The lady then came up to my mom and said,”Since you were so nice and talked with me over there, can you give me some advice on what I should put in some Easter eggs?”  She was having an Easter Egg hunt for her adult children.  My mom helped her and came back and said, “See Amy, I think there are a lot of people in this world who just need someone to talk to.”  She amazed me and does still.  I am so proud she was and forever will be my mom. 

I know everyone is shocked like I am and wondering how this could happen to such a good person, how a person that lived Fiercely for Jesus could be taken.  Just remember, our reward is Heaven.  I know that is SO, SO hard to grasp and understand when we are aching for her, but know SHE is HOME where all who believe in Christ will be forever and We WILL see her again.  Isaiah 57:1-2 says, Good people pass away; the Godly often die before their time.  But no one seems to wonder why.  No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come.  For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die.

So as I close, let me just say, I will be alright.  My family will be alright.  We have Jesus and we have all of you to help us though this.  I want to challenge each and everyone of you perform random act of kindness this weekend in honor of my mom.  Leave an extra  big tip for a waiter. Pay for the people’s order behind you in the drive through.  Hold open doors for people.  Let someone else have the parking spot.  Let a mom with her screaming kids go in front of you in line at the store.  Talk with a stranger.  These are things my mom has done.  I challenge you to write your act of kindness on her facebook wall or one of my family member’s facebook wall’s.  Please do this in honor of my mom.  Let’s pass some of her love on."

I appreciate that you read this far.  Hopefully, I will get some school stuff done this week to keep my mind busy.  I will try to give you some freebies.

God bless you and your family!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Blasting off to the Solar System

Hello darlings!  What have you been up to lately?  Well, we have been learning about the Solar System. (my most favorite unit ever!)  I love, love, love how I taught it this year because each subject incorporated the unit.  During reading, we were working on our Nonfiction Unit by Lucy Calkins, so kiddos did lots of reading about space.  They also picked a specific planet that they wanted to research and we learned how to Read like a Researcher.  In writing, we took all the info we had gathered and learned how to write a research report.  In Science, we were able to dig deeper into each planet, and also learned about the rotation and revolution of the Earth (among other things).  In Math we were doing measurement, so we completed a project that measured the distances between the planets.  My kiddos were like, "What subject are we doing?"   "When are we going to do reading?"  They were amazed that Science, Reading, Writing, and Math are all interrelated and you can do a part of each in each subject.  =) I know!  Weird, huh?

Here we are measuring planet distances...

Here is our Reading and Writing Research Project
We used lots of nonfiction planet books as well as the Internet.
Kidrex is a safe search engine for kids.

Now we are measuring our shadows to learn about Earth's rotation.

We also completed a poster about the phases of the moon.

Want to use the materials I already created?  Click here to go grab it at my store for $3!   

I'd like to leave you with an inspiring little reminder.

Share an inspirational quote with me in the comments section!  Pretty PLEASE!  =)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Dr. Seuss Day and Winners!

Hello Darlings!  Friday was SEUSStastic!  Usually I don't make a big deal about Dr. Seuss' birthday because most activities out there are tailored to the younger kiddos.  We third grade teachers have to be "serious" and we cannot have any "fluff" according to our administrators.  So I decided to make some unfluff and celebrate Dr. Seuss anyway.  There are quite a few of his books that are a DRA 38 which is the end of 3rd grade reading level.

My school librarian sells Dr. Seuss hats so everyone was allowed to wear a crazy hat on Friday.  This is what inspired me to make a day of it.  The kiddos were going to be nuts anyway because of their crazy hats, so why not use it to my advantage?   I had kiddos stuffing recycled paper into the hats to make them stay up. (see what I mean?)

Above, you can see the kiddos reading Seuss books with their partners.  They had to read four books and figure out the theme for each one.  We had to talk about the fact that the theme is not always obvious.  For example, a lot of the kiddos read I Can Read with My Eyes Shut and it kept saying not to read with your eyes closed.  We found out that is really means, Pay Attention to What You READ!

In this activity, kiddos had to make up as many real words as they could using one of Dr. Seuss' book titles and then make up "Seussy Words."  I had a prize for the person who created the most real words and a prize for the person who created the longest real word.

The Math Game is differentiated because I have such a diverse set of learners. (I am sure you do too!)  Green is addition and subtraction only.
Yellow is the same, but with multiplication added.
Red has everything and long division.

Needless to say, we has a SUPER SEUSSy DAY!

Thanks to everyone that signed up to get our posts to your inboxes!  I do that for all my fav bloggers so I know I won't ever miss a post or FLASH FREEBIE!

The winners of the Splendid Springtime Literacy Centers are....
1. Stephanie Ann 
2. Christina from Apples Books and Crayons
Check your emails ladies!

I wanted to leave all of you with a FREEBIE, so here is one of my word work games for suffixes.  Enjoy!

Have a great week!

5-Star Blogger