Thursday 24. October 2019

‘Tis that time of night~I’m the only one yet up and about~my favorite time of the day~late evening.  Such a peaceful time.  

The seasons have begun to change, autumn is in full swing…have had quite a bit of precipitation and chilly weather, the leaves have really been coming down.  Come autumn I’m always so happy to live in the country, we don’t have to rake leaves!  I love the look of the leaves carpeting the ground.  Always my favorite time of the year…although dread for it to end when the snow begins to swirl.  

I’m now back to being a mostly stay-at-home mom although in all reality I’m not needed so much now that our youngest is in his next to last year of high school.  Although working as an aide is only a “part time” position, my opinion is working only a few hours short of 40 hours a week is a full time job without the perks.  But, my opinion.  I was getting more and more behind with my work at home and feeling so tired from being on my feet all day and dealing with middle school “drama”…working only for something to do, it was apparent that something had to give…put my two weeks in and last Friday was my last day.  I will continue working as a sub up to two days a week, so will still get to see the kiddos and be of some help and get out of the house a bit.  

Not until last Thursday when I finally had to begin to the let the kiddos know that I was going to be leaving, did I realize just how important aides can be to these kiddos at such a crazy time in their youth.  Had not expected the crying, the “no, you can’t leave”, the “what am I going to do without you to talk to when I need to” type of heart hurting comments to be made.  Last year when I was hired the now retired middle school principal had said in the aides not so much of a teacher type person was wanted but more of a mother/grandmother type person.  The kids feel upset or frustrated or feel the need to vent, they…at least at our school…tend to come to the aides before the teachers or guidance counselor.  It’s not uncommon for when told a kiddo should really go to a teacher, the guidance counselor or the principal for said kiddo to ask if the aide can go with or maybe just talk to the person first.  It’s easy to become attached to the kids you’ve learned haven’t had it easy in life, especially when that kid who acted out so much has become a better behaved kid…you feel almost like you had a small part in that.  Those kids have a way of getting into a person’s heart.

When my kids were in school and would talk about certain aides or resource teachers being those they felt they could go to when stressed or having trouble with a class or a teacher I did not understand. There were no aides when I was in school.  I can absolutely understand if a parent would get upset by a child finding an adult at school to be their person to go to when having a hard time, I remember feeling that way with my oldest, but I totally get it and so thankful she had those few adults so could go to who could understand her because they were with her in the place she was having a hard time, they were able to do so much more for her.  

My son has a couple a ladies in high school he has a relationship with that I am so thankful for, that have helped him with his struggles in school with his learning difficulties.  Have told him that I’m glad he has those he can go to when another teacher has made him mad or feels treated him unfairly, someone who can help him navigate those rough waters and teach him how to do better.  Have learned those kids will come running with big grins on their faces and showing that really great grade they got in a class they’d been struggling with!  

Can you tell I miss my kiddos?  It also helps make an old lady feel of worth when her kids are basically all grown. Definitely do not miss the politics of the running of the place…nor do I miss the getting up early and going to bed early.  Not easy for a night owl.  

I do so love the peace of the evening!  

Until again…melmpf    

 

Tuesday 4. June 2019

Summer is here! Last day of school was this past Thursday…the longest day EVER! You know how when you are so wanting something and time slows to a crawl…that was last Thursday. Was a perfect send off of the year too…three couples had to be broken up for inappropriate touching on school property, seventh and eighth graders…they all looked at me like I was out of bounds telling them to STOP TOUCHING! Hauled four sixth graders to the office to spend the last part of the day in detention for out and out rolling on the ground, punching each other. What the hell? It’s probably wrong of me to do so, but I’m constantly telling them what my high school principal used to tell us back in the late 1980’s…take it off school property…fight all you want, but not on school property. Yeah, we had a pretty cool old cat for a principal back in the day!

So tickled to be on a three month vacation! Or three months of recouping from the last nine months. Definitely need some time to find my sanity again and get caught up on the house! Have two rooms, almost three rooms CLEAN! A few days ago I didn’t even know where to begin, that’s how far behind and how bad of shape the house had gotten. Told myself I’d start on our bedroom, the sheets needed washing…so a good place to start. Now I’m just moving to the next room from the one just finished and it seems to be working well. Actually feel like I’m starting to accomplish something. Have even started on the weeding. Feels good!

The past month we’ve had a few ups and downs in the family. The kind of events that makes one appreciate life and those we love most. We lost my amazing great uncle a few weeks ago, 87 years old and one of the loves of my life! We didn’t grow up close with my gramma’s youngest brother and family, but after marrying and having our first child our family dynamics seemed to change, Uncle Bob and Aunt Norma started coming to more and more family functions and became a part of our lives. This guy was an absolute rock star! Big time tough guy with a heart of gold. So glad that we got to know him and love him and so happy to have been able to talk to him on the phone a couple weeks before he passed. The funeral was tough, had the fire fighters and veterans there. Fellow fire fighters were the pall bearers, a huge American flag was hanging from a crane at the cemetery, the 21 gun salute, the playing of Taps…absolutely beautiful send off to an absolutely great man!

Two weekends ago out daughter made it home from out west…we celebrated my dad’s 75th birthday…almost all the grandchildren were able to make it…something that doesn’t happen too often anymore. We are so blessed to still have that old cowboy with us. Dad was in VietNam in 1969…his life has been affected by Agent Orange. When I was in junior high in the mid-80’s he finally gave up on the regular doctors and went to the VA. For many, many years he drove the 90 minute each way to the VA for radiation treatments. I don’t recall a time he has ever spent in the hospital or a time when he was ill to the point of keeping him from doing his farm work. If and when he felt too sick he didn’t let us see it. He still team ropes, he still farms…can still lean off the side of a horse to pick a hat up off the ground and can outrun some of the older grandchildren. 75 years old. After I was married in 1993, I was told his doctors at the VA had said he would never see my graduate from high school, I graduated 28 years ago. Tough old bird. So blessed to still have him still with us and doing so well! He says it’s the whiskey! Could be!

Three days ago we lost our Godfather, Old Boy’s uncle. After a few year fight with cancer, he lost his battle. We knew it was coming, but it was still a sock to the gut. Uncle Steve had no son, Old Boy was always like the son he never had. After losing his brother three years ago in May, Uncle Steve rallied the family together and became the leader of the family. The family became so close and strong, it was all because of him. When Uncle Steve summoned us, we came running…his daughter one day said, you guys jump whenever he says jump, it’s like he’s The Godfather or something…the name stuck and that’s how we refered to him and saw him. 67 years old, too young. The biggest joker and one hell of a hard worker. He was like another father to Old Boy and I and like a grandfather to our kids, hating the thought of having to say goodbye to him on Friday. Thankfully The Girl has an understanding boss and is getting the time off to come home for a couple days. The Boy (17 years old) is having such a hard time, have never seen him so heart broken…breaks my heart even more. As hard as it is I’ve learned how to look at death in a new light. He’s not suffering, he’s with his mom and dad and with his two younger brothers again. We can always talk to him…maybe get to tell him a new joke from time to time.

Life is a dance! Dance!

Until Again…melmpf

The Night Before Thanksgiving 2018

Tis the season! Tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving with my mom’s side of the family, an every other year occurance and an occasion always looked forward to. We’ll be missing our girl, but time with cousins is always cherished…especially the older we get. Thankfully the weather has turned over the past two days and we’ll be having some warmer temperatures to be out and about. Thanksgiving has been my most favorite holiday for a great many years now, less stress than Christmas, more time to sit and visit and just be with the ones we love.

Have been attempting to get back into writing, however I’m shot at the end of most days and the thought of getting out the computer seems like way too much work. Tomorrow begins four days off, planning on talking myself into sitting down and making plans for a routine to be able to get more accomplished at the end of the school day. Things are getting easier though, the weekdays don’t seem to feel as long although the weekends seem to feel shorter. It’s be days since I’ve come home and had a bit of a sip to top off a stressful day, has to be a plus!

Feeling as though my boys and I have been making progress lately. I have three boys whom are my main priority at school, aide to one and helper to the other two…have taken to calling them my boys. Of course I help all the teachers of whom I’m in class with and have really bonded with most of the kids. Had one boy with a broken heart today, he came to me and I was really touched…he wasn’t one of my boys. Have to say I smile most of each day. Have made some great friends with the other aides and some of the teachers. Living in such a small community and being in a small school district is really a blessing in so many ways.

Last week has a great break through with one of my boys. K really struggles with reading, the beginning of the year I’d have to tell him almost every word when we’d be reading together, last week he read an entire page in his lit circle book with only having to be helped with one word! He was so proud and I was so proud for him! This week C has been more willing to get to work when he doesn’t want to, actually putting in a bit more effort than usual. E and I still have our daily struggles, he likes to try and find a way to get a person’s goat…he’s a good kid though…just likes to be a stinker. All three are getting better at writing smaller and neater! Small steps, yes!?

Was really touched today…put together a small treat for each of the boys for Thanksgiving…nothing big, some small candy bars, gum and pencils…the smile on their faces just melted my heart. I’d had the opportunity to take the boys from study hall to a classroom with only a couple kids and an aide working on some late work, the boys dumped their little boxes out to dig through the handful of things, swapped with one another what they liked most and the cherry on top was when they bombarded me with hugs! Those boys! These boys aren’t the hugging kind either.

The absolute best part of the day…lining up with the little kids to dismiss at the end of the day. One of the boys gave me a note that his grandma was picking him and his little brother up at the dismissal gate…I recognized the last name and asked if R was their grandpa..yes, R is their grandpa and then the little kindergarten aged boy said…is Bart your dad? I stiffled a laugh and said no, he’s my brother, Terry is my dad…the older brother said, I know him! Absolutely made my day! Mom laughed and laughed, Brother Bear wasn’t quite as amussed and said he’d be giving their dad a hard time in return! Love small town life!

Hope all is well with all!

melmpf

Saturday 20. October 2018

Finally feeling as though I’m getting enough of the hang of working outside the house that I may be able to get back to writing and reading some blogs again.  Still working on getting my inner clock changed around, guessing after over 20 years of being a night owl that it’s going to take more than a couple months to become not so much of a night owl. 

Have really taken to doing this whole teachers aide thing.  I work mainly with three sixth graders, but help out with the entire class as needed.  Also have lunch duty with sixth through eighth grades, study hall with about a dozen sixth graders and after school recess with preschool through fifth grade…thankfully there are three of us doing the after school recess, those littles are dolls but take a lot of energy. 

Learning a lot in the sixth grade, things that I either no longer remember learning or things that are new to me…guessing a little of both.  Social Studies and PE are pry my favorite at the moment, something I definitely wouldn’t have said in sixth grade.  In Social Studies we are learning about different cultures, next week the kids start a project where they learn about the cultures in which they came from…sounds fun but with my three boys, the thought makes my head start to throb…hard headed them and hard headed me…we have our moments where we butt heads so to speak.  The trobbing head comes from knowing the project has to be done on Google Slides and the last project I helped with having to use Google Slides, yeah….I can’t do Google Slides, give me a piece of paper or poster board! 

A few days ago the kiddos had to run the mile in PE.  Want to confuse sixth graders?  Call PE, Phys Ed…they will argue until you explain it’s short for physical education and thus PE…  Watching these kids stress for days about the upcoming mile run reminded me of the same stress knowing that damn run was coming up.  These kids had it easy though, Mr. S let them walk a bit as needed, we weren’t allowed to stop jogging or we started over.  Times have changed.  Also Mr. S ran with them, Mr. C never ran with us.  That had to have been a good feeling for the kids to have the teacher join them.  I walked a half mile during their run and tried to help encourage them to keep it up.

Lunch may be my favorite time of day…have made some great friends amongst the teachers and aides and enjoy 30 minutes of laughter and swapping stories with other adults.  It’s still kind of odd to be working with people who went to school with our oldest, two graduated with and a few only in the few years before she graduated.  Some days it makes me feel a bit old but the kids have assured me that I am somewhere between the age of 1 and 99…so guessing I can be whatever age I choose. 

The house has taken a toll since I’ve begun working at the school.  Spent most of the day today cleaning and washing bedding and dishes…swear the dishes are never done.  Starting to feel like some progress is being made.  Bubba and I went out a few days ago to finish picking all the gourds and pumpkins, today Old Boy took the tractor and mower and knocked everything down.  Had hoped to get the flower garden done this weekend but we’ve been hit by a cold front accompanied by an ugly wind…hopefully we’ll be able to get it done before winter hits.  We’ve already had snow…the earliest I’ve ever seen, so who knows when winter will hit. 

Anyhow…hoping to finally be back to it.  Hope all is well with all! 

melmpf

Monday Morning 22nd of August

Pretty proud of this group!  Long time family friend Brooklyn and nephews Colt and Tyler rocked big time at the Iowa State Fair!  This was the first year this group did this fitting thing, so that makes it even more amazing and awesome that they placed first!  We didn’t do 4H or show cattle, so only have a vague idea of what fitting consists of…So proud of these kiddos!

Leo, Kaet and Dallas at Crazy Horse Monument….a beautiful place to visit, very peaceful….well, not with the group of yahoos we visited with…had to keep it moving, moving, moving.  When we went with the kids a few years ago we went in February/March-ish…we took the time to walk through the museum and just take it all in.  Breathtaking to say the least…I find the Native American culture fascinating, absolutely love learning anything about the people and this place has it all.  BUT, with the crew of 11 this time through we had to keep it moving, moving, moving…

Now we are back to the real world, my brain is going in circles…school starts tomorrow and this ol girl is not ready.  We made it home from our trip on Friday night and I was knocked down with a head/chest cold, Saturday I was 100% down…yesterday I was well enough to get some running done.  Now it’s pry about time to get groceries, we are running on bare bones in our kitchen.  With school starting again it’s time to get back to the real world, start accomplishing things again.  

Peace!

Nervous Mama

Okay, for about a month now I’ve been saying that it’s about time for the kiddos to go back to school…now that it’s here, starting to get some anxiety.  

Helicopter Mom be damned!

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Yesterday afternoon I took Bubba to his new school, my old school.  We walked through his schedule so he’d know where each room was and met most of his teachers.  One gal had enough time to chat with us that I was able to see and feel a change in him.  

Mrs. H. actually talked him into talking to the junior high football coach about the possibility of playing, called the coach and chatted on the phone with him.  He’s actually considering it!  So happy he’s at least thinking about it.  He’s gone back and forth between wanting to play and not wanting to play, think his not knowing how to play is what is holding him back and Mrs. H. and Coach were able to relay to him that he would be taught how to play, not just thrown in without knowing what to do as when he played league football a couple seasons ago.

He and Mrs. H. talked about reggae and playing guitar and her knowing people that we know and being able to have a conversation with her about people that both knew, I don’t know, he really relaxed and I felt a sense of happiness or something positive radiate off of him.  Bubba is good at hiding when he’s excited about or looking forward to things, he usually waits until he’s alone with me and then shows the excitement. 

We wound up being at the school for about an hour.  It was fun, just for myself, to be back in my old stomping grounds.  I’m excited that this school doesn’t run on ipads, the kids need to have notebooks and will be given actual text books to hold in their hands!  Bubba is going into 7th grade and I can’t recall him ever bringing a text book home and Kaet seldom ever did and didn’t in high school at all because everything was on the ipads.  There is a place for them, but I just don’t think they should be used for every class and for the kids to have access to them at all times.  But…that’s just my opinion.

Sending the boy off to a new school is so much easier with the fact that he knows at least a dozen kids at the school.  My brothers kids, six of them between the two, my niece is a high school football cheerleader.  Bubba has also always been the type of kid that makes friends very easily, don’t know what it is, but he seems to draw people to him, something Kirk and I have never understood.  It’s a smaller school, as he is used to.  When I was in high school, there were less than 200 kids in the high school, my class was the biggest class by a number of years on either side of us, right about 45 of us!  The town has grown a bit, but I don’t think there is too much of a change in amount of students.  

Actually, dad seems to be more nervous about sending Bubba to my old school.  When he first started working on our farm, he thought I was a stuck up snob before even getting to know me, he said it was solely because of the school I went to, we were known to be stuck up snobs.  Hell, every school has arrogant people, can’t escape that and just as well learn now to deal with people like that when you are young, makes it easier for dealing with them when they are older.  

The big thing is that Shorty is heading back to college, she starts on Monday.  Think that’s where most of my anxiety is coming from.  We’ve gotten so used to having her coming and going and being around most of the summer, now it’s time to get used to her being gone again.  

I’m actually really excited for her new year in college.  She’s really seemed to find herself over the past four or five months, has become more confident and level headed.  Looking forward to see what this year has to hold for her!  As a mom of a tit baby, I’m just happy to seeing her get back to not having mom and dad to lean on and maybe her friends getting her out to do some fun things.  Guessing she pry hasn’t gone out and about with friends 10 times this summer.  She’s 20, she really should be living life a little more!

Needless to say though, mama is starting to feel the anxiety tonight.  It’s time for a change in all our routines, we are all needing a shake up around here, and that’s a good thing!  

Peace!