In Memory of My Mom

Mom was born on December 15, 1948 to my grandparents. Well, duh! Of course her parents were my grandparents. Okay, continuing on.

Not only did she live in Morgan Place with her brother, Bob, her sister, Missy, and my grandparents, Norma and Dale, her cousins and her grandma all lived on the same street.

Mom told me a lot of stories. I listened to them over and over again. In my grief strickened mind, some of what she has told has gone away. It’ll show back up later.

Someone didn’t like their parents cooking so they would go beg their grandma to feed them. I don’t remember if it was her or her cousins or both.

When she was 7, she was hit by a school bus. School should not have been happening that day because of icy conditions. However, Randolph Township decided to still have school. Her bus driver did not realize she had fallen and hit her with the front tire. Rather then wait for medics to come, he decided that was going take her over to cousins’ house.

She ended up in traction for 6 or so weeks. Bob couldn’t visit her because he had the chicken pox. One of her teachers came and tutored her so that she would not fail and be in the same grade as her brother.

When she was in 8th grade, her Girl Scout troop took a trip to Washington, D.C. They got to see JFK’s pony or something like that when they visited the White House. They also had to pay to use the public restrooms.

Her dad owned Morgan something or another. (I wanted to say it was called Morgan Place but that doesn’t seem right.) They used to make moron burgers the size of a pie plate and homemade ice cream. After a year of owning it, he sold it or something like that.

In the meantime, she went off to college down in Buchannon, West Virginia. Even though she went for only 2 years to West Virginia Wesleyan, she would talk about it ALL the time.

While at college, she met my father. When asked how they met, she didn’t remember just that they met.

At some point, she worked at Burgin’s Pizza. She used to get Puffcorn, her favorite snacky food, and pop and go play cards with her grandma who would cheat. At least I think that is what she told me.

In 1971, she married my father in Pennsylvania. After their marriage, she moved to Eastern PA.

I’m going to leave off there for right now.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Not On My Honeymoon

Back in 2000, Hubby and I went on our honeymoon. We had been married for a year.

Where do you think we went?

Well, Disney of course. While there, I turned 25 years old.

It was my first time there since my College Program. I was so excited to show Hubby around the World since it had been 15 or so years since he had been there.

I was also excited because I was going to be able to finally step foot in the Animal Kingdom because I watched it being built while I was on my College Program.

The first few days of the Honeymoon was great. We enjoyed spending time in Magic Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom.

Then the worse possible thing happened while down in Walt Disney World. I ended up with food poisoning. I spent all day Wednesday of my honeymoon stuck in our Mighty Ducks hotel room. All day long, I was worshiping the white porcelain God.

It was either the Key Lime Pie at the Rainforest Cafe or from drinking at the water fountains. I can eat Key Lime pie now but ever since then I don’t drink at water fountains.

The next day I was able to get out of our hotel room. We went to EPCOT and had breakfast or lunch at the Garden Grill. They gave us a free cake since it was our honeymoon. I don’t think I was able to eat any of it because my stomach was still upset.

We left on Friday of that week. I only wished I hadn’t gotten sick. The flight home was interesting but that is a story for another day.

The next year, we drove down to Walt Disney World in order to have a second honeymoon.

Never get sick in Disney. And not on your honeymoon. That’s the moral of my story.

If I Had Stayed IN Bed

I wish I would have stayed in bed.

Some days are like that.

Lately, it seems as though those are more and more days like that.

However, it is usually moments that are fleeting. Not the entire day.

Today was one of those days.

Listening to my son rant and rage about how he is feeling about the whole breakup has broken my heart. He usually has a kind soul who loves life.

I put on P!nk’s Hurts 2B Human album and played the song Hurts 2B Human on repeat and just bawled my eyes out on the way to work. I was a truly hot mess when I got there this morning.

I did listen to a few other songs but I played that song about 5 times.

I encountered some really stupid drivers on the way to school so that didn’t help. One of which pulled over in my lane and slowed way down so that he could get into the other lane so he could get off at the next exit. Luckily there was enough space between us so I could safely slow down.

Four of my co-workers allowed me to rant about the situation because I needed to get it off my chest before the students came in for the day.

Then the day started. I got hugs from students. One in particular gave me a hug several times throughout the day.

I escorted a student to class because he couldn’t figure out how to be sneaky so he wasn’t caught by me, the hallway patrol.

I had some good intervention sessions. In fact, I had some awesome ones. Then there were the ones where I am left in bewilderment on how disrespectful the students can be to each other and me. The one group sees me twice on Wednesdays so they made up for their not so good session. I don’t know why they were so bad during math intervention.

Listening to students get excited about what we were reading made my day. I had students asking questions and wanting to know more and other students using context clues. Those make an Intervention Specialist’s heart soar.

A student decided she needed to hang onto me as I was trying to lock my door. She has no concept of personal space.

During dismissal time, one of my students from last year showed up at the building. I got to talk to her and her mom for a while. It was such a sweet conversation. I love how she asked me if I had traveled anywhere lately.

I also found Swt. Blessings scripture plan for this month. It’s about finding comfort in God. I read today’s Scripture from 2 Corinthians 4: 7 – 9. It gave me comfort during this time.

So although at the beginning of the day and at moments throughout the day I felt as though I wish I had stayed in bed, I would not have had the beautiful parts of the day.

The sunrise today – So gorgeous!
One of my former students posted this today on Facebook. It popped up in my notifications. What a great message.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Reflection on 2 Corinthians 4:7-9

7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.

9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.

Right now, we are dealing with the Oldest’s first break up. We are perplexed to the reason(s) why. Even though, we are feeling despair. Him more than me. Mine is more my heart breaking for him. I need to remember that God will comfort me. I need to not feel the despair. He will always be my comforter. I need to take my troubles to him in Prayer.

Dear Lord, Please shroud me with your blanket of comfort. Allow me to know that what I’m feeling is human feelings. It’s fleeting. It’s only a small blip in my life. I need to remember to lift up my burdens to you instead of allowing them to overpower my thoughts. Please offer the Oldest and I comfort. Him so that he can remain strong during this time of confusion and heart break. Comfort me so I can give him the best advice. In Jesus name, Traci

Our Adventure | September 29

The past week has been trying for us. The Oldest had his first heartbreak and break up. I’ve had to be a “friend,” mom, and sounding block.

As I said, it’s been trying. For 2 weeks prior to the break up, we have gone through mopey Oldest, angry Oldest, and then happy Oldest. It was hard to watch this roller coaster.

Last Sunday, she broke up with him via text and then immediately blocked him. He has to see her because they are in 2 classes and ride the bus together. Needless to say, he’s gone through a multitude of emotions. He is now happy and sees the break up is a good thing.

During those last 2 weeks, he would complain about being bored but refused to do anything. It was very sad to watch.

This weekend, I suggested we do something on Sunday afternoon. I was thinking of the Huffman Dam but he and his brother decided to go to the Englewood Dam. We also visited a favorite local restaurant for dinner. It was nice to have him back.

Not only was he was back so was the Youngest. My soul needed that because we used to go on a lot of adventures when they were younger.

Off topic: I’ve recently discovered Lizzo. She has great lyric in this song. “Don’t text me. Tell it me it to my face.” That’s how the Oldest is feeling right now. He is big on communication. That was the problem with the relationship.

Onto to the photos from our adventure:

After spending time in nature, we went to a favorite restaurant for our dinner. Airline Dairy Creme is located close to the Dayton International Airport.

I’m so happy that I got to spend some quality time with my teenagers. They are growing up so quickly.

Have a magical day,
Traci

My Sacred Musical Artist / Happy

During the summer, I was introduced to a podcast called Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. They take the Harry Potter books and chapter by chapter they discuss it through different themes like empathy and white privilege. The podcast really makes you think.

They also discuss the fact there is often a sacred text, songs, or even musical artists in our lives that we often rely on to get us through difficult times.

Throughout the years, my sacred song has changed depending on the season I am in my life. However, for the last 10 or so years, one artist keeps popping us as having songs that I have believe to be sacred to me. Mind you, I’ve loved her music since the early 2000’s when I first heard Just like a Pill. So who is this artist. She is P!nk, the badass I wish I was myself.

Okay, Get the Party started was a sacred song for me while I was pregnant with Oldest. That child was planning to stay in my uterus forever. I wanted my body to get the party started. It never worked. I was induced 4 days after his due date.

Then there was Perfect. I went through a period of time where I had students who were not the best. It was a really rough period. Lots of anxiety and depression during that time during that time in my life. I had lost family members, a former student of mine, and a high school friend. I tried to keep it together. As a self-help for myself, I discovered photography.

Hurts 2B Human

This past April, she came out with the newest album Hurts 2B Human. I can relate to so many of the songs. Whether in this time in my life or in my past. I want to discuss some of the songs and how it relates to my life.

Now mind you, it won’t be all in one post. I wouldn’t do that to you.

The first song I would like to discuss is Happy. This song was written about how I felt about myself in my teens until mid thirties.

The lyrics I can really relate to are
” Since I was 17
I’ve always hated my body
And it feels like my body’s hated me
Can somebody find me a pill to make me un-afraid of me? “

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my body. I’m short waisted with long legs. Can you believe how awkward that combination is especially for a teen?

I always thought I was not attractive. Maybe it’s because of my awkwardness. It was not until I lost my grandma and I began to be in more photos that I realized that I was not as unattractive as I realized. Hubby would tell me that I was beautiful but it was not always enough for me to believe. What an awful way to live my life.

Another lyric I can relate to is
” Since I was 22
I’ve been with somebody who loves me
And I’ve been trying to believe it’s true.”

I have actually been with Hubby since I was 22. On October 17th, we’ve been together for 22 years which is going to be half of my life. For details of the time we got together, click on this link. That year was a hard year for me mentally, emotionally, and even physically.

How did I end up with someone who truly loved me? I don’t know. I was in a series of messed up relationships up until that moment. I could write a book on those relationships.

Am I scared to be happy? I don’t think so. I like being happy but there were times in my time that it was hard to be happy.

” (Don’t like to talk about my feelings) “

This is true. I don’t always like to talk about my feelings. I’m scared people will judge me.

I hope you’ll be kind and understand how this post made me vulnerable.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Sunflowers | September 9, 2019

Every year or almost every year since 2010, we have a tradition of going to see the sunflowers in a town near us.

They have a field that blooms for about 2 weeks. It is absolutely gorgeous so many people stop to take photos and even draw pictures of the sunflowers.

It’s gotten so popular that they have a parking area which they never had before a few years ago. I used to have to sort of parallel park in the grass near the field.

As I said, we go every year or almost every year. I have found photos from 2010, 2011, and then 2014-2019. I don’t remember if we went in 2012 or 2013.

This year, we took the Oldest’s girlfriend. She had never been to the field before so it was fun to watch her discover the absolute beauty of the field.

While walking through the rows of sunflowers, you have to be careful of the bees because they love to hang out there and the prickly plants that grow near the sunflowers. Other than that, it’s fun to get lost in the hundreds of sunflowers.

We also have a tradition of going to the local dairy that is just down the road after visiting the sunflowers. So we did that also on Monday. Oldest’s girlfriend hadn’t been to Young’s Dairy for a while so it was fun to treat her to ice cream made with milk from cows from the dairy and to watch her feed the goats.

Visiting the sunflowers is one memory that the boys are going to carry with them for the rest of their lives. Even though Youngest would have rather stayed at home and played on the computer.

Enjoy the video.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Make memories that will stay with you

I have 2 teenagers in my house. One who turns to his mom for advice and will continue to let me know that he loves me. The other has decided doing anything with mom is pure torture. He may or may not say that he loves you when you tell him that you love him. It’s frustrating.

I love how the Oldest has started to embrace being a teenager. He doesn’t hang out with many of his friends outside of school. However, I know he has a group of friends that he calls his Guys.

He also has a girlfriend which is new territory for him. They’ve been dating since April.

So what would my advice be to my 2 teenagers? Since they are both so different, I have different pieces of advice.

Oldest – Continue to hang out with your Guys. Make memories with them. Girls come and go but a great friend will stay with you.

Young love is new and exciting. Don’t change yourself for her. Treat her with respect. Remember your family and how we raised you. Let her know you care about her. Think with your mind not your hormones.

Communication is key. Always remember to communicate.

Youngest – Family is important. When we want to spend time with you, we want to create memories. We love you. Don’t forget that. Please take time to say I love you and not the word yes when we speak to you.

Yes, we want you to do chores. Please do them correctly the first time or we will harp on you until you do it right.

Grades are important. Please begin to turn in your assignments. Don’t be a class clown.

Have a magical day,
Traci

When August 1st comes . . .

The last few days of summer

During my first few years of teaching, school didn’t begin until around Labor Day. In fact, when Youngest was born, I left the previous school year pregnant and came back to work with everyone else. (He was born less than 2 weeks after the end of the school year.)

Now August 1st means that summer is basically over for me. I know that school is going to begin within a week or so. Usually I’m at the school getting my room ready by August 1st. This year I decided to treat myself to not coming in until the first day I had to be back at work.

I can’t show one photo to describe my August

When I walked into my room on August 7th, I walked into tablehedge, not Stonehedge.

Tablehedge

One of my co-workers came to my rescue and got the tables down.

I quickly rearranged my furniture so that the room is functional.

This room is a resource room. Students come out of the rooms for pull out services. I need to only have a minimal amount of furniture. As the school year continues, I will be decorating more of the classroom.

Case in point, this bulletin board has the two basic rules expected in all classrooms. I asked the students to write down ideas on ways they can demonstrate those rules. I love this because students feel as though they have a role in creating the rules in my room.

Now that we are testing for baseline data, my room has been torn apart to be put back together after testing.

The current state of my room. Each student has been given a shelf in the cubbies in the back of my room. It’s going to help with organization.

One of those bulletin boards in the back of the room is going to be the cool down / calm down corner. I have some brown paper board paper that is going to be hung up on the bulletin board with some suggestions on how they can calm down. Our community has been through so much trauma in the last few months. A tornado and then the shooting in downtown Dayton have rocked the area since May.

So many have rallied around our community. However, even with the rallying around us, these are 9, 10, and 11-year-old children. Some of them do not know how to deal with the trauma so it’s imperative they have a place that will help them cool down.

The word wall is basic sight words. When they don’t know how to spell a word, a way for them to get some movement is to walk to the back the room to look at the word wall. I have clipboards so it is easy for them to write.

Now You Know What a Teacher’s August looks like

My room would never be Pinterest worthy. However it is functional. Students get what they need to help them become better fourth and fifth grade students.

When a student tells you, they can’t wait until you begin to teach them math because you made them think last year. You know the look of your room does not matter. What matters is how you make the students feel while they are in your room. Are they feeling welcome? Are they feeling like they are learning? Are they feeling as though they are loved?

Have a magical day,
Traci

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