Life and Everyday

Joy, revisited



Really? Really?  Really. Is that what joy is supposed to look like? Cuz my joy hasn’t looked anything like that all year long.  Not even one iota close. Maybe wish it had, maybe it would have felt like the earth moved and the world changed a bit for me, yes, for once, for ME! But nah,  it didn’t.

But what did my joy feel like this year?  Was it quiet? Was it rumbling? Was it at least happy? Let me show you a few pics of what my joy felt like…..

nothing like mom and daughter bonding! 


Getting ready to celebrate K’s 12th birthday!
Our new dog, Cooper! 
Messy hair and out to eat! 

These are the celebrations of joy we had. None were really jump out of our skin into the air moments, and I know it’s not all of our joyful moments of the year. It’s just few that K and I have had along the way. I can tell you that there were definitely more joyful moments in the latter part of 2015 than the beginning because big changes happened in the middle of the summer for both of us for the BETTER!!!! Let me tell you, that made a world of difference in the joyfulness of our lives. More on that when I’m on my laptop to type. But for now, more to think on.  What does joy feel like to you? Like that first pic? Or something in between?


Life and Everyday

She’s my baby

Yes!  She’s my little, well, not so little anymore, girl.9093_10151461902031143_2104600580_n

Here is a picture of her with me:

She is a ham.  She is a star.  She is a dancer, a lover, a fighter, a friend, pain in my butt, the love in my heart, my alarm clock in the morning, my sunshine on a cloudy day.

I cherish her more than anything because I lost her for a period of time.  It was a very hard time in my life.  She was only 4 and a half.  Almost time to start kindergarten and I was on the verge of losing her to the “system”.  Lucky for me, my mom was there and decided to let her live with her for awhile.  Until I could get my crap together.  K went and lived with my mom….what seemed like forever.  It ended up being three years.  Three very long years.  I did have lots of contact with her.  Not enough but a lot.  I still lived nearly 2 hours away from her.  I called her daily but it definitely was not like having my baby home with me.

This caused some psychological difficulties for her as well as myself.  I was already going through depression and anxiety, which is why I almost lost her in the first place.  But the stress of her losing her mommy was definitely evident in her as well.  K has ADD.  They (the doctors) thought she had reactive attachment disorder but have since ruled it out.  She has separation anxiety.  Which makes more sense to me than anything.  I would too.

Anyway, back to why I cherish her so much.  It was that separation that causes me to cherish every moment with her.  When she came back to live with me, it was quite an adjustment.  we had to get used to living together again.  Although I loved her with all my heart, we butted heads like no tomorrow.  We were learning to live and love again.  Trial and error.  Lots of boundaries and lots of limit setting.  Lots of tears, on both our parts.  That first year was hell to say the least.  We made it.  And we both are still living.  🙂

Each moment after that we are growing closer and closer and trust each other more.  She trusts that I will be there for her no matter what.  I trust that she will do what she says she will do.  She hasn’t let me down yet.  I haven’t let her down that I know of either.  We keep our word to the best of our ability and when we don’t or can’t, we apologize.  We laugh, we have fun.  We cry together.  We do fun together.  We do church together.  We learn together.  All these things I cherish with her.  These are the memories I will cherish of her and with her.  I hope that she will also.

She is only 10 years old now.  She is growing up so fast.  She loves to dance and play mine craft.  What polar opposites can we get?  Today she plays on the kitchen floor with old toys of Zu Zu pets, knowing that in a few days it’s Christmas and new toys await.

I don’t want these days to end.  I know she keeps growing up.  I love each moment I spend with her.  I will never lose her to the reasons I lost her before.  I am doing well and feeling well.

Life and Everyday

Day 22 Thanks

Today I am thankful for lazy days.  I was able to get some things done that I haven’t been able to get done in a little while since K has been sick.  I also was able to get some cooking done for tomorrow’s Christmas party for the Olson’s get together.  Not a lot of goodies but a few things that I will be taking.  Got the soup going.  I need to remember to pick up bowls tomorrow.  Remember to write a HUGE STICKY NOTE for me to remember to pick them up before I leave town tomorrow.  It’s gonna be “180 below” zero tomorrow, yes, I am exaggerating.  It’s gonna be the coldest day yet this season.  And it happens to be on the day we are driving to Iowa.  Go figure.  Just our luck.  I have my cake in the fridge.  I am debating whether to poke the holes in it tonight and put the sweetened condensed milk on it or wait til morning.  I think I will wait til morning. I don’t want it to get all soggy and gross.  So yeah.  Might poke the holes tonight tho.  Just for the fun of it.  LOL  The cheeseball is done and in the fridge.  The crackers are in the bag along with the noodles for the soup that need to be put in when I get to Carpenter tomorrow.  I hope the soup doesn’t spill on the way there.  I have this funky new stretchy cord thing for my crock pot lid that is supposed to hold the lid on tight.  i hope it works.  we’ll see.  i will bring some towels along with and lay them on the floor of the car just in case.  never trust soup.  LOL

I wrapped a few gifts today as well.  not too many, just a few.  The tree is up from being bored while K was sick this past week.  My cards are mostly done, addressed and ready.  But no stamps cuz I have no money to buy the stamps as of yet.  Still waiting for my travel check to get here.  It’ll probably come tomorrow when I am not here.  Go figure.  I think I have most everything ready for our trip south to Iowa tomorrow.  Bingo gifts ready and bagged.  Dry food stuff bagged.  I just need to jump in the shower in the morning, eat breakfast.  Get the soup ready to go in the car.  Warm up the car.  Get the cake done and chilled.  Cheese ball in the bag.  K up and going.  Her DS ready to go.  The kindle is off limits for the weekend.

Time for this tired momma to hit the hay.  Thankful for lazy days indeed.

Life and Everyday

Giving Thanks Day 11

Day 11 of giving thanks….I am thankful for a room full of elementary and middle school kids who love to sing and play orchestra.  They made beautiful music tonight.  They really sang and played their hearts out tonight.  They brought stories to life.  It was called Pajambouree!  They took a few stories and brought them to life through telling and singing the stories and also acting them out.  It was fantastic.  Some of the children that attended were dressed in their jammies and had their stuffed animals and the whole nine yards.  Oh what fun!  I am thankful for fun nights like this!!


Life and Everyday

Beyond Imagination

I had one more “Great Story” to write for Minnesota Reading Corps before the end of the school year.  So I decided I am going to share it here on my blog.

Beyond Imagination

We recently held a huge literacy and art event called Beyond Imagination.  It showcased poetry and artwork created by students.  For my last great story, I wanted to write a poem that will also include some of the words of wisdom from some of the students I worked with this year.

We are a new school district to Minnesota Reading Corps

Not sure what to expect, but trained very well.

Through trial and error, we got it figured out

With many questions to Nick and Sarah, we had no doubt.

So as the new year began,

We benchmarked many students.

We made our list

Our schedules were started.

Interventions, progress monitoring

Much progress and praise

High hopes and high fives and stickers, kids craved.

The smiles started coming

Words began to click.

Letter names, letter sounds started to stick

“The best part is I can spell out words”

“I like letters, I love to learn”

Onto nonsense words and blending words,

Duet reading and Great Leaps

Huge strides were made by many when we all believe

Continue to encourage…..

To say, “You did great!”

They loved my new words: fantabulous and awesomesauce

Because praise words never get lost!

“Reading is fun”

“I learn harder words and that makes me happy”

“I love to read.  I feel way smart”

“When I read a book, I can imagine the characters in the book”

As you can see reading tutors can give students that hook

We give them our best

Long day and much of your enthusiasm

But it’s all worth it

To see their excitement and imagination

As this school year comes to a close

I love these kids I have come to know well

I wish them the best on their journey of reading

Of growing and learning and much succeeding.

(if you are interesting in becoming a part of Minnesota Reading Corps, they are hiring for the next school year.  Here is the link:    you will also be able to find  AmeriCorps at this link:

Life and Everyday

It’s been raining

It think the weather has been crazy here in the mid-west.  Tornadoes in Oklahoma.  Some of my friends without their homes now.  More tornadoes not quite as severe but still damaging.  Wind and rain.

Here in Minnesota it’s been raining and dreary for about 10 days now.  We might need one or 10 or theses:


or even think about building one of these for the good ol’ Mississippi:


I actually slept ok with the thunderstorm last night.  I left my window open some…it was good sleeping weather after the humidity went down.  I opened up the balcony door wide this morning.  Awful stuffy in here.

Good camp song for these days:

Rise and Shine

Rise and shine and give God the glory glory

Rise and shine and give God the glory glory

Rise and Shine and give God the glory glory

Children of the Lord.

(1) The Lord said to Noah, “There’s gonna be a floody floody”

The Lord said to Noah, “there’s gonna be a floody floody,”

Get those animals out of the muddy, muddy

Children of the Lord

(2) Noah, he built Him, he built him, he built him an arky arky (x2)

Make it out of gohper barky barky! Children of the Lord.

(3) All the animals, the came in by two-zies  two-zies (x2)

Elephants and kangaroo-zies -roo-zies! Children of the Lord.

(4) Some of the people, they didn’t make the trippy, trippy (x2)

They fell out of the fellowshippy  -shippy.  Children of the Lord!

(5) Rained and poured for forty day-zies, day-zies (x2)

Nearly drove those animals crazies, crazies, Children of the Lord!

(6) All of the rain, it finally stoppied, stoppied, (x2)

The fell on the mountain toppy  toppy.  Children of the Lord!

(7) The is the end of , the end of the story, story (x2)

Ev’ry thing is hunky-dory, -dory.  Children of the Lord!!

There you go….Your song of the day.  Happy Thursday!!

Life and Everyday

What a week!!

It’s been a long week.  I have finally gotten some time to get here and write a bit about it.  Beyond Imagination is done.  That was quite the ordeal.  Kennedy Elementary put on a wonderful art and poetry night.  Lots and lots and lots of parents and students came.  I worked the photo booth.  I have some awesome pics.  I will share.  I love my sitter, P.  She was so kind to take K around to the various rooms to do all the fun stuff.  K even read in the poetry jam.  I will share her poem at the end too.  She wrote it.  Kinda silly but all her.

School gets out June 7.  about 4 weeks away still.  I have to get in all my hours and then some.  I have made arrangements to get more hours in ASAP after school lets out.  I will get them all in before July 13, I am that determined.  I will throw myself into getting it all in.

Going to make crockpot ranch chicken today for lunch….I hope maybe Katey will eat it.  who knows.  she hasn’t been eating much.  Her ped doc is concerned because her check up…she had lost some weight.  not a considerable amount.  but the ADD medicine has that side effect.  so I also asked the school nurse to weigh her once a week for me.  she will help me keep track.

ok and now for pics from poetry jam and pics of the school for the big event:

Beyond Imagination007some teachers

014K’s friend Dakota

042poetry jam

047A kindergartner I worked with…awesome!

061K and Paige…hammin it up!

089My teacher friend, Carla and her hubby and new baby.







last but not least….

K’s poem


Technology is inside the computer.

Internet is to…my mom its a tutor!

Facebook, angry birds, paplinko, and movies are all on the internet.

I need a pet.

I love the computer.

there you have it….our week.  getting ready…now it’s done.  we can finally relax…sorta.  now to get ready for all the field trips and etc for the end of the school year.  I have to keep up my tutoring schedule…it’s all good.

Happy week ahead to all of you!