The First Day of Kindergarten Blues

Oldest turns 19 on Monday. Where has the time gone?

He graduated from a career center and high school in late May. A few weeks ago, we had his graduation party. In preparation for his party, I created a movie. This is one of my favorite photos from the video.

You see, Oldest had and still has sensitivity towards certain foods. If it’s not what he wants, he won’t eat it. On his first day of kindergarten, I took the morning off to walk him into school. He cried and threw a fit. Why did he throw a fit? He was not happy the lunch ladies made him take a pop tart. He only wanted the chocolate milk they were offering.

A few weeks before his party, I walked through the elementary school where he attended kindergarten. They are getting ready to tear it down. I walked down that hallway and remembered his first day of kindergarten. It will always be a bittersweet memory of mine.

Freezer Clean Out

So today, I cleaned out and organized my fridge’s freezer. Since I started my master’s program, I needed to ensure I had ready meals when I went back to school in a month. With the rising food price, I am happy I have meat ready to go so I can feed my family.

I’ve had my food saver for almost a year but had never figured out how to use it. Now that I’ve finally mastered using it, I’m food-saving everything. My favorite gluten-free bakery had donuts this week. I got some and put them in the food saver for later. It will be nice to have some when my work has a donut day. I’ll be able to bring in my own and not feel left out.

When I went grocery shopping today, I discovered that some cheaper steak pieces were selling for $5.49 a pound. I could not pass that up. So I got them and then marinaded them. Hey, you won’t know the difference with a good marinade. (Just an FYI: I only used the first marinade on the steak.) My family is happy because they know we will have steak on the menu next week.

I bought 3 packages of steak. Marinaded them and then used the food saver on them. As I said, my family will have one of those packages next week. It’s nice to have that meat ready to go in the freezer.

Some of the other things I did besides marinade steak and freezing donuts is I took some chicken legs and marinaded them with a bottle of zesty Italian dressing. This will be another quick protein for my family. The package of chicken legs was 7 something, and the bottle of dressing was around $1.50. So for $4ish, I will have a protein for the meal.

I also organized my freezer to see what I had for future dinners. It’ll be easier to meal plan knowing what I have in the freezer. Next up will be the pantry. But that will be for another day. Maybe when I need to step away from my studying.

So what did you do today?

My newest tattoo

Two years ago, my mom passed away suddenly. My aunt made the long journey down to Ohio to help me with planning her funeral and cleaning up her apartment. One day while we were eating lunch, we began to talk about a concept for a tattoo for my mom.

I was supposed to get the tattoo on my birthday in 2020 but then Covid hit, so we put it on the back burner. Hubby didn’t know if I was going to go through with the tattoo, but I surprised him last October when I told him that I wanted to get it on the 2 year anniversary of her death.

The concept is a dandelion with the spores flying away. It was to be placed on my back on the other side of the tattoo for my sister.

Have you ever looked at a dandelion from underneath looking towards the sun? It’s magical. Absolutely magical.

I took this photo in Kentucky 2 weeks ago.

My tattoo meanings:

  1. I use music as a therapy, so there is music notes coming off the dandelion. The songs I listened to after her death were Last Song of Your Life and Scars.
  2. The bottom part of the dandelion is darker. My childhood is full of trauma. That is the darkness in me that I try to hide.
  3. My mom wasn’t always there for me when I needed her. When I was in Disney, she told me to find something to do and not call as often as I was calling her. I should have told her the truth on how that felt. It was my first time away from home.
  4. She wasn’t there for either birth of my sons. Even if she wasn’t at the hospital, she could have been at my house. My mother-in-law and MJ were the ones who helped me.
  5. I hate my birthday because my mom wouldn’t call me to wish me a happy birthday for many of my adult birthdays.
  6. I always felt insignificant in her eyes because even though I knew she was proud of me – she never told me that she was proud of me.
  7. There is the word truth hidden in the grass. There is 2 meanings for that word. One is our relationship was built on the lack of truth from both of us. It is also from a lyric in the The Last Song of Your Life. The lyric says “I don’t want the headlines. I just want the truth.”
  8. The colors are because I am rebuilding myself. I love sunrises/ sunsets, so the colors are perfect.
  9. The wind is blowing away. I need to realize that my past doesn’t define me. I need to let it go, so I can continue to rebuild myself.
  10. Finally, the dandelion is a symbol of growth, hope, and healing. Three things I’ve been working on for the past 3 years.

Stay kind!

Have a magical day,
Traci

Yearly Calendar (Freebie)

Today I created a calendar for August 2021 to July 2022. The calendar also includes weekly views, so you can plan out the week.

You will get a Google Drive folder with the yearly calendar and the weekly views. There is a sheet for each month of the year. In order to use the calendar, you need to make a copy for yourself.

You can also change up the aesthetic to your liking if you don’t like the colors I used. If you want to add bitmojis for each month, that would be a great way to customize your calendar. Also you can change up the font to your liking.

I’ve done the hard work of creating the calendar. Now you can do the fun part which is customizing it. Or you can leave it be. It’s all up to you.

Yearly Calendar

Our Life was Turned Upside Down

While I was at the dietician’s office on Monday, Oldest called me. He had been in an accident. Even though his car had been hit, he was okay just shaken up.

He was getting ready to turn when a truck going straight through the light sped up. The driver of the truck clipped Oldest before hitting a pole. Since Nick had gone in the intersection, he was cited for failure to yield. As a result of the accident, the front driver’s side was demolished.

We are waiting on word from the juvenile court for when he is supposed to go to court. His license is probably suspended. However that doesn’t matter; because he doesn’t want to drive right now.

Now Hubby and I are driving him around. Luckily he is now on summer vacation, so I don’t have to drive the 20 minute commute back and forth to his school. However, he is working, so I have to drop him off and then pick him up. His job is only a 5 minute drive from our house which helps. The problem is he closes which means he is done at the earliest at 10:45 and at the latest 11:30. For a person who shuts down beginning at 9 pm, that is tough for me.

I’m leaving in a few weeks for my annual EPIC trip with my best friend/ chosen sister. He needs to get those rides lined up because I won’t be around to pick him up.


I drove him to school 2 times this week and then home 1 time. The only good thing about driving him was our puppy went with us. After dropping him off, we went for a walk in the town where his school is located. Gaston, our puppy, loved meeting ducks for the first time. That was fun to see him try to get at the ducks as they were swimming around. He didn’t get far because of the leash.

So how’s your summer going?

Have a blessed day,
Traci

Be Present (How to Build Rapport Part 1)

I just ended my 21st year of teaching special education. One of my skill sets is the ability to build rapport with my students. Over the years I have realized that rapport cannot be forced or bought. Some students will be receptive towards creating a bond with their teacher while others are more reserved. I have many students who I have had rapport with while others I have taught and then they moved on without us truly developing any sort of rapport. Instead of seeing me as an ally who has their back, they saw me as a hindrance.

I’m going to begin a series where I’m going to talk about how to build rapport with students. I don’t know how many parts will be to this series because I keep coming up with more ways.

Be Present

Honestly I think this is one of the best ways to build rapport with students. Sometimes you need to put the computers, manipulatives, assignments, and even phones down and just show the students that you really care. If you are worrying about the next thing, the students won’t have your full attention. In this fast paced world of ours, we often don’t get the human connections that we crave. Being present and in moment with the students allows them to know you really care about them, their dreams, their worries, and/or their preferences. You learn who they are as a person and how they learn.

During virtual teaching, it was so hard to be present with students. Many times they were just black boxes with names on the screen. You could call their name a billion times with no response. Some of my best moments with students were the times we finished the work for the day and just talked to each other. I learned about their dog and their favorite dog who had died. During the year, I watched them blossom over the year. The young man went from wanting to get off the computer to play Fortnite to wanting to draw.

Join me next time for another strategy to help you develop rapport with students.

Stay kind!

Have a magical day,
Traci

Health Update

Four years ago, I went gluten-free because I was having headaches. I ate that way for over a year before adding back gluten in my diet.

The day after Easter, I had a bad attack after eating my lunch. All of the sudden, I was cramping and in a lot of pain. I went home and feel asleep for an hour and half. My abdomen was hurting. I took off the next day and was still having issues. Youngest knew I was in pain, because I was crying before he left for school.

I laid down for a nap around noon. When I woke up, I was still in pain, so we went to Urgent Care. The doctor at the Urgent Care immediately sent me to the Emergency Room because he thought it might have been appendicitis. I SAT and WALKED in the ER’s waiting room for 4.5 hours before I was sent back to a room. During the 3.5 hours I was in the back, I was got a CT with contrast. There was some troubling results but none of them were conclusive to why I was having pain. There was no appendicitis. My course of treatment was to go to a Primary Care Physician and to take pain relievers.

Since that day in the ER, I have seen a Primary Care Physician and a GI doctor. There is a possible issue with my upper GI and lower GI. Next week I’m having an endoscopy and colonoscopy to see if we can pinpoint the problem. They are going to look to see if I have Celiac’s Disease. If not, I’m probably have a gluten intolerance. There is no test for gluten intolerance. I just need to change up my diet.

I was also given some acid reflux medicine that I have to take every day.

I’m back to being gluten free. Today is day 5. It’s so much easier than it was in 2017, because it has become more mainstream. Today I got myself some bread – Portuguese and cinnamon swirl, a cookie for dessert tomorrow, cinnamon rolls, and English muffins – all of which are gluten free. YUM!

Join me on this journey as I begin to figure out what is causing my health issues and then trying to learn to live with them.

Stay kind!

Have a magical day,
Traci

Song Lyric – Sunday – Aroma and Flavor

Ever since March when the the stay home orders began, my faith has been renewed. One of the churches I follow had worship afternoons several times during the week to help people with their faith and to keep them feeling connected. This is one of the songs they sang during that worship time.

The song is “Holy Water” by We The Kingdom. My favorite lyric from the song is “Your forgiveness Is like sweet, sweet honey on my lips.”

May you be blessed,
Traci

For more song lyrics about Aroma and Flavor, visit Jim.

The night

Molly nervously looked at her watch. Almost midnight, Marc had never been out this late without contacting her. He always needed to be home by eight and in bed by 10 type of guy. Always in their twenty years of marriage.

She debated calling the police, his mom, or even the FBI as her mind raced through possible scenarios. Maybe he stopped at his mother’s and he forgot to call because he was eating her world famous cherry pie. Or maybe he got into an accident and was rushed to the hospital. She was so deep in her thoughts when the bright headlights of his truck broke her concentration.

Relief overwhelmed her. Her heart began to slow its rhythmic pace as she raced outside. Molly, a modest dresser, didn’t care she was in her nightgown. The cool fall air slapped her in the face as she hurried to his truck. Marc looked haggard, his clothes were wrinkled and stained, so unlike him, as he opened the truck’s door.

That is when she noticed the diamonds glinting in the streetlight. At least that is what they looked liked to her. Moving closer, she noticed that there were small jagged pieces of metal lining the bed of the truck. She was drawn to those pieces especially when she observed the rust on them.

Picking up one of them, she noticed it wasn’t rust but fresh dripping blood.

Screaming as she dropped it! She fell to her knees. In her mind, she knew she needed to call the police.

The man standing in front of her wasn’t the Marc she loved.


What do you think had happened to Marc?

Why do you think there were small pieces of metal with fresh blood on them in his truck bed?

Stay kind!

Have a magical day,
Traci

What do you see? – September 28, 2020

I was hiking a cool serene lake in the middle of nowhere. All I can hear for miles around me is an unreal silence with an occasional chirp, leaves crunching, and a frog croaking. I was in nirvana.

Suddenly the most magical experience happened when this beautiful brave bird flew around my head. As I sat there drinking in the pure beauty of the landscape, he flew closer to me.

During one his flights around me, I reached out my hand slowly. At first, he continued flying around me becoming braver with each lap. Deciding I was not a threat, he hopped in my hand.

Without alarming him, I grabbed my camera and captured this moment in time with him. As soon as the shutter clicked and the photo captured, he was off. He was on his way back home.

I continued my hike in awe of that moment in time. No one was going to believe me when I told them the story of how I became friends with a bird. Luckily I have a photo to show them.

#whatdoyousee

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