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Given
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Given

Nov 22, 2016 by

I wake up Sunday morning to a bed boiling over with children. Abby is curled up beside me, Isaac down by my feet, and Susanna up by my head. Tim’s spot, vacated over an hour ago in order to allow quiet prep time at church, has been triply filled. If I draw a bath, children try to climb in with me. If I get...

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Second Year
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Second Year

Nov 5, 2016 by

This school year is infinitely better than last year. I was hoping for a fresh start this year, and I got it. Thank you, Lord. However, at this point in the year, I do find I have a certain amount of teaching fatigue.  It could be that I just finished walking my English 3 class through a research paper.  After two weeks of carefully...

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Miss Bossy-Pants
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She starts as soon as she gets up. First she picks out her own (seasonally inappropriate) outfit to wear, then she picks out her brothers’ clothes down to the underwear.  This is unappreciated and she comes to me pouting, “Isaac don’t want to wear dese clothes I got.” From her bath, she yells out into the hallway that she doesn’t want toast with her...

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To the First Year Teacher Who’s Struggling
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Dear first year teacher, You are trying to smile as you pass in the hallway, but you are drowning on the inside.  People ask how it’s going and you smile stiffly and say, “It’s ok,” but really you aren’t sure.  You aren’t sure that you can do this teaching thing.  You are overwhelmed in every way.  The grading, the planning, the curriculum. The discipline,...

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All the Little Pieces
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When I started this blog, it was with an aim to celebrate the ordinary moments that make family life golden.  The title “Little Pieces of Ordinary” meant examining the tiny pieces that make up the beauty of the mosaic.  Anyone who has a family knows about the annoying moments, which are legion, but I wanted to focus on the sacredly funny and sweet moments,...

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Fresh Start
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Fresh Start

Jul 20, 2016 by

Yesterday, I dragged our coffee table and end table outside and gave them each a fresh coat of white paint. With each stroke of the brush, I simply painted over the marks, scratches, and blemishes of the previous year. It was wonderfully therapeutic. I’m ready for a new school year. That first clean piece of notebook paper. A new pencil with an untouched eraser....

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Write.
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Write.

Jun 8, 2016 by

I miss writing. I believe a small kind of joy erupts every time you express yourself in a creative act–from coloring a picture as a four year old to choosing an outfit as an eight year old.  These acts of creativity reveal to ourselves more fully who we are–and to others, too.  That’s the vulnerable part.  When my children come to show me their...

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Thin Places
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Thin Places

Mar 28, 2016 by

The bell was about to ring in 45 seconds as I hot-glued my sandal strap into place where it had disconnected from the ankle strap. It was an apt metaphor for how I felt going into the school day—glued together, holding on by a string, getting by.  We had received some bad news about a close family member, cancer, and the tears kept welling...

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Things I Love Right Now
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How Susanna thinks milk is called “milk-please,” ie: “Mommy, you get me some milk-please?” and “Mommy? You got my milk-please?” How she calls Dora “Da-Da-Dora” because I tried to get her to pronounce the first letter one time.  And how she yells out all the Spanish words at the tv when Dora prompts her to. ABAJO!  (She watches Dora with such unblinking intensity that...

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In Lieu of a Christmas Card
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Dear friends and family, Christmas cards are not in the mail. We love you and you are all worth a stamp, but we simply cannot do cards. Maybe when everyone is out of diapers? Nah, probably not even then. Man, it’s been a year of change. In March, I was spending every day with my two youngest babies, drinking coffee in my pjs until...

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It’s Hard to Be Tim
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This morning I wandered around in a sleepy state looking for my cell phone. After five minutes, I gave up, made a cup of coffee, and opened up my computer instead. A facebook message awaited me from Tim, reminding me I have nursery duty and informing me that my phone was on his car this morning when he drove to church. When he stopped...

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How Being a Teacher Has Made Me a Better Mom
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  I recently learned of some heavy heartache a student of mine is carrying quietly upon his shoulders along with his backpack and homework. I felt utterly hopeless to help with his burden. I can’t control the variables of my students’ lives, but I can write the story of my own family. When I returned to teaching after eight years as a stay-at-home mom,...

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For All Those Who Don’t Have it All Together
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Dear Friend, I got your message. I hate what happened to you this past week. You were judged as a parent by a bystander. An old man watched you chase your toddler into the street and chastise him. He called out to you and warned you not to be so hard on your little guy, lest you break him. It hurt, this flash judgment....

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Seasons of Change
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  I cried all the way to work. The harder I tried to suppress the tears, the more stubbornly they forged salty rivers down my cheeks. I missed my kids. Also, I missed the comfort zone of my old life. I was one week into my return to the work force after eight years at home birthing, nursing, cuddling, and raising babies. The transition...

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Calling on Writers and Poets
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Hello friends. I’m happily buried under lesson plans right now, busily trying to get ready for the start of school and the task of teaching 10th, 11th, and 12th graders various kinds of historical literature.  But before we dive into Colonial life and historical documents, we are getting to know one another. Ergo, the Where I’m From poem.  I believe I have done this one before...

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Loving the Difficult Child
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For the 50th time that day, he put his hands on his cousins. Not wrestling exactly, not unkindly, but definitely handling them about the head, shoulders, and face. At six years old for a high-energy boy, it doesn’t get much better than visiting Disney World with your six and seven year old boy cousins and he was riding high on life. The decibels of his...

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