Thursday, May 28, 2015

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for my husband even when it means I am up past my bedtime. We sat down to talk about life and I enjoy talking with him so much it went on and on. I especially appreciate being able to share reflections on teaching and parenting together and dream of ways we can do things better.

(But enough is enough as there is school to get up for tomorrow!)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Today you are six! That’s more than a handful (unless you’re counting in ASL) and you are more than a heart-full, (though more than a handful at times as well).

Your default setting is joy, with a smile upon your face and a giggle that is quick to spill out. You love to take in the world around you, wanting to learn and understand all that you encounter from the book you just picked up to the refugee you pass on the street to how an elevator functions.

You are a learner. Your love of reading and writing are matched by your mathematical mind and your quest for scientific observations. You are becoming an independent reader, attempting any book you pick up and happy to read to others. If you think it, you want to write it down carrying a notebook with you often for just such occasions. You write the grocery list and read it off to make sure all items are gotten. But it doesn’t stop with words, numbers are a fun puzzle as well. You find patterns and look for ways to expand what you discover. Counting, skip counting, ways to make 5 or 10 or 100 are all a natural part of how your brain works. You have learned that scientists observe things (and then write those observations down) so you explore the world to see what you can notice. With all of this happening in your brain you also like to be the teacher and share what you have figured out with those around you, being people or dolls or those I can’t see.

Your heart is big. Your compassion for those around you can’t be missed. Not only do you want to help the child that is sad feel better, you also want to share food and money with those you see who don’t have what you have. You understand that we are blessed and that there is a responsibility that comes with those blessings. I thank you for helping me to pay more attention to this.

Your big heart shares hugs gleefully and when you are happy or thankful you want to express those emotions with hugs and kisses. You never want to miss an opportunity for a family hug or snuggle, especially if you happen to notice Mommy and Daddy are hugging without you.

Not only is your heart big for others, but also for God. Your sense of spirituality continues to grow and deepen, which is a wonder to experience with you. It is a natural part of who you are and the weekly chance to be amongst a body of believers is very important to you. The Bible is one of your favorite books, wanting to read one story after another as we cycle through it again and again. You sing and dance as an act of worship and share your thanksgivings and concerns when you talk to God.

With all that head and heart stuff let’s not forget your body. P.E. is your favorite class. You love to be active and mastering the monkey bars is something you are very proud of this year. What else keeps you moving? Scootering, skipping, dancing, body surfing, skating, biking, swimming, and more!

On top of all of this you have a love for adventure, (which is nearly necessary to be a part of our family!) You are happy to go wandering through the neighborhood or to a new country. You ‘go with the flow’ when needed and understand that adventures don’t always go as planned (if they are planned at all) and that is part of the fun. You are ready for the adventure of moving to Yanbu. (Speaking of Yanbu, your Arabic continues to develop and correcing my pronunciation amuses you.)

I would be remiss to not add that you are also very willful and opinionated, which we hope will be a strength in the long run. At this point it adds great challenges (for both you and us). You keep us on our toes and force us to continue to refine our parenting skills. Thankfully, as I stated at the beginning, your default setting is joy.

I can’t wait to see what this year has in store as you continue to grow. Happy six!

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thankful Thursday

As each week unfolds I often find myself thinking, “This is something I am so thankful for!” Inevitably Thursday rolls around and if I haven’t jotted some things down somewhere I stare at a blank screen and, after a few minutes seconds I think of something else I should be doing and the screen remains blank. As the close of the day gets nearer I know the blank screen is there, hidden behind other windows, waiting for me to think of things I am, and have been, thankful for. Today is no exception to this scenario and I even remember thinking throughout the week how many, many things I would have to write about. Alas, I am now wracking my brain…


I’m thankful we had a weekend with nothing planned. The normal weekend things all took place and nothing extra – heavenly. (Especially when I realized it is the last one we have in this country.)

I’m thankful for girl time. In the past week I have had several opportunities to spend quality time with girl friends. This time of conversation and being together, as well as getting away from the responsibilities of life for a bit are refreshing to my soul.

I’m thankful for people who want to spend time with my daughter. This week she had an adult friend pick her up from school and spend the afternoon being creative together. Their creations are lovely, but even more importantly my daughter knows that she matters.

I am extremely thankful for physical therapy. I have been blessed with somehow having the head of the PT department wanting to treat me personally, even when they are not taking other patients. They are very skilled at what they do and I benefit from it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday

Currently the best solution for these two is an adaptation of the line down the middle of the back seat of the car.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Parent Meeting

WRITE a slice of life story on your own blog. SHARE a link to your post in the comments section. GIVE comments to at least three other SOL bloggers.

An email appears in my inbox asking if I can possibly meet the following day. I send off a quick reply with my available times. The confirmation comes quickly and I add the meeting to my Google calendar wondering what it could possibly be about.

Is it about the interpersonal challenges I have been working on with a couple of students? It might be about the upcoming puberty session later in the week. Perhaps they want to discuss an argument the child had with a classmate, that I thought was solved, but I’ve been wrong before. My mind continues to whir, trying to guess the topic and anticipate the direction of the conversation.

At the appointed time I am working in my room. The parent eventually arrives, but now I only have a few minutes before I have students in the room. They apologize for being late and bring up the reason they requested the meeting, which is NONE of the things I have considered.

The matter at hand was actually an academic question of something that had happened a week ago. (Though the puberty session was inquired about, so I was only mostly, completely wrong.)

I listened to their concern, explained what had taken place from my perspective, and assured them that if I had a concern I would have contacted them. Their child had shown mastery of the concepts so I had moved on. Obviously they hadn’t. I sure I hope I was able to assure them.

That isn’t quite the end of the story, which ends with great irony, but for confidentiality reasons I can’t write about it. Needless to say, teaching is never dull.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

How did it get to be Saturday?

I had no intention of going dark this week. My calendar didn't even seem overly full, so how did it get to be Saturday?

If I had posted this week I would have told you about the following…

Monday - What Are You Reading?
Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis by Timothy Egan
It is truly an epic tale, 384 pages worth, but I am fascinated about this Seattle photographer I didn't know anything about. I think this title came to me from a group of ladies whom I would join in book club bliss, if I didn't live on the other side of the world.

Tuesday - Slice of Life
Since I couldn't manage to notice an entire week go by it is no wonder I couldn't capture a sliver of it. Oh my! Now to try and even remember what happened on Tuesday…

Perhaps we shall wait for next Tuesday. What do 'ya say?

Wednesday - Wordless Wednesday
And this is when I go to my phone and see what bits of life I have noticed and captures on film my camera.


Thursday - Thankful Thursday
I continue to be thankful for this amazing weather, which you may be sick of hearing me talk about. However I hear 'back home' it is similarly beautiful, so perhaps a bit easier to swallow. The difference this week, instead of being blue sky, sunny, and in the 70s we have had a couple of rain showers pass through. Still in the 70s and the rain drops are greatly appreciated by this Seattleite.

I am thankful for my daughter's piano teacher who can find the balance between being patient with a nearly six year old and realizing when the little one is stalling or being lazy and push her to excel.


Here we are, Saturday morning, while everyone else is still in bed. I woke up before the weekday alarm would have gone off. After attempting to read and roll over and go back to sleep I decided it was futile and I could see what I might accomplish before people are talking to me.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Image by MB-One

Wouldn’t it be great if every time you needed a taxi they were lined up and waiting? Since that isn’t reality, I’m thankful for Uber.

Last fall my daughter and I waited and waited and waited on the side of the road for a taxi to take us to a birthday party. Friday afternoon traffic didn’t help and we were the last to arrive. While I was talking with other moms one told me about Uber. I had never heard of it, but downloaded the app and when it was time for the next birthday party I gave it a try.


I love that I can request a car, see the car’s current location, know who is coming (name, car type, and license plate number, as well as star rating), have the car be smoke free and clean, and most importantly not have to be carrying cash.

As I was reading through my blogs I just read this post posted on Saudi Women Driving. It talks about the several apps that are now available in the Kingdom. None of them were there when we left and I am glad to know I will still have connected options upon our return.

In Seattle I am thankful to have a car that I can simply drive myself where I need to be. Overseas that isn’t always an option. Uber is all over the place. Have you used Uber?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Summer Goals

Write, Share, Give

Donalyn Miller posted about the #bookaday challenge here and it got me thinking. Summer starts sooner for some than it does for others. Being in the later category, I am not quite ready to be in ‘summer mindset’, though the #bookaday challenge has me updating my library holds and thinking through my summer reading list.

As I wrote about last week, my summer reading will have a different feel this summer as I prepare myself for my third grade classroom. Since I'm mixing things up, why not commit to #bookaday as well?

Summer commitments are hard to make. The freedom of time and choice, that is part of what summer is about. Will I feel confined by a number I need to achieve or will it inspire me to reach higher? I have taken on the challenge for Christmas Break, but that is just a couple of weeks and the short days lend to 'needing' to curl up with a book - every evening and each morning. What will happen when daylight beckons? Will I be willing to 'give up' a baseball game to read instead? These are hefty things to weigh.

What about you? What are you thinking about tackling for summer?