Family

Flowers are always a good idea

flowersLezlie’s take:

My husband has never been a flower-giving kind of guy (maybe it’s because his dad was never a flower-giving kind of guy). So he generally saves them for special occasions. The first time my mom had us over for dinner I suggested that he bring flowers, just the inexpensive bouquet from the local grocery store. When he handed them to her you would have thought he brought her diamonds! She was so surprised and pleased and loved him even more for his thoughtfulness (yeah, well…).

I often buy flowers for others, for a birthday or an informal get together. Who doesn’t like to receive flowers? I was at the grocery store the other day and for some reason I thought, “I think I’ll get flowers for my table.” I picked out an inexpensive bunch along with some greenery. It was a decent arrangement (I sure could have used my sister-in-law’s expertise!) and it looked so nice. When my husband came in he looked at them and said, “Where did you get the flowers?” like I had a secret admirer! I told him I bought them for myself. He looked at me quizzically. They lasted over a week and really brightened up the table.

Today I salvaged as much as I could to keep them around longer. To my surprise when my husband returned from the store he brought flowers! He said, ‘Those were on their last leg so I brought you these.” And I was surprised and pleased and loved him even more for his thoughtfulness.

Sometimes you can’t just tell them, you have to show them.

Allison’s take:

So when my husband and I started dating we had those conversations every new couple has. One of those conversations in particular sticks out to me. We discussed our parents, their relationships, and the longevity of their marriages (both 30+ years!). When I heard him talk about his parents I knew that this was the man I was going to marry. He told me how they had been together since the 8th grade, and how much he respected that. He told me that it hadn’t always been easy for them, of course, but that he loved their commitment to each other. He had the same relationship goals I did, and even knowing that our parents’ relationships haven’t always been easy (or fun!), the fact that they have stuck together through thick and thin was something to admire.

So I started to think, what is it that makes a relationship work for the long haul? And as I spent more time with his parents, and paid more attention to mine, I began to realize that it’s the little things. It’s the way my dad brings my mom coffee every morning. It’s the way his mom makes his dad’s favorite foods. It’s the way they enjoy spending time together (and yes, both men complain about how much money their wives spend, and how they COULD be spending FREE time together at home instead of going on yet ANOTHER trip).

But honestly, 5 years (and a LOT of wine) later, I think I’m starting to get it. We may not always agree, and we OFTEN have a difference in priorities (seriously, is it NOT more important to clean the guest bathroom than it is the garage when we have people coming over in an HOUR?!), but I think it’s fair to say that we at least usually make the attempt to put the other first. J will let me sleep in (sometimes taking the baby monitor with him), and have coffee ready when I get up. He asks how my day was, and rubs my back when he knows I’m stressed. He does the little things that I don’t want to do (or don’t even THINK about doing-like bleaching the sink. Do people really DO that?!) Does he forget to put things on the grocery list? Or have NO idea how to dress the kids for school (or even what time it starts, if we’re being totally honest) Or go on and on and on…. about things that happen at work that I don’t understand and really have no interest in? Of course! And I’m sure that there are a few things that I do that drive him crazy (probably not many Image result for clipart emojis). But I try to pay attention to doing the little things for him too. I make sure that he doesn’t have to worry about the things that don’t interest him (like making the CUTEST fruit kabobs for the daycare Valentine’s day party, or making sure that EVERYONE has clean underwear-I seriously wonder sometimes how he thinks it gets into his drawers…)

All in all, I think it’s the little things that make a relationship work. The thing is, I could get mad about the things he doesn’t do (and I do. I’m not a SAINT!), or I could try to focus on the little things he DOES do. It’s not always easy, and it’s not always my first instinct, but it is something I’m working on. And honestly, I have to ask myself which battles I’m willing to fight, and which ones just aren’t worth it. At the end of the day, it’s best to just enjoy the little things.

EO for the day: Ylang Ylang

Ylang Ylang has a sweet, floral sent, and is a great EO for lifting your mood! Try adding it in a warm bath, or mixing it with a carrier oil (like coconut, jojoba, or sweet almond) to make a massage oil. You can also diffuse it to brighten your mood!

If you are interested in ordering any of Young Living’s essential oils, feel free to click the link below!

https://yl.pe/54pw

Teaching

I’m Not a Good Sitter

Lezlie’s Take:

I have to be honest. Since becoming a teacher and having to deal with all kinds of children’s (and adults’!) personalities, I was completely thrown off course with my first real life experience with ADD (attention deficit disorder, for those who aren’t aware). There were several kids in the middle school in my first classroom that just could not focus and/or settle down, with conventional methods, which are all I knew. After sending numerous referrals to the office, I was called in to talk with the assistant principal. He suggested that I read a book entitled The First Days of School: How to Be An Effective Teacher by Harry Wong. It deals with management, structure and organization in a classroom. Now, I’m thinking, “it’s not me, it’s THEM.” THEY just need more discipline, THEY just need to learn how to behave, etc. It was a little further down the line that I realized that how I was raised and how I raised my two kids was not necessarily THE way, but A way. I soon went to graduate school to earn my master’s degree and did much more in-depth learning about how to adjust my teaching style to accommodate all kinds of learners. The teacher got schooled!
As it turns out, I may have a little ADD myself. Ever since I can remember I’ve been on the move. I have always been active (skiing, water and snow, biking, kayaking), even if I’ve slowed down a bit. I seek out places to go and things to do constantly, often to the dismay of my husband. Really, I thought this was how most people ran their lives. As I get older this is simply not the case! Most people are content to just sit and take what life gives them. I know that I am never going to be one of those people!
Now that I’m now teaching at the college level, I love that I can simply teach and my students have to hold themselves accountable for their own learning. I am very active and animated in my classroom–pretty much what I am like in real life! It has been a great segue for me.

When I talk to my daughter and our conversations turn to teaching,  I am thankful that I don’t have to deal with her challenges—administration demands, parent/teacher conferences, classroom management, to name a few. However, she loves her “job” as a second grade teacher and is great at it. She creates a great learning environment and finds innovative ways to adjust to each student’s learning style. I know this has helped a great deal now that my four-year-old grandson is in pre-K and has had quite a time adjusting to rules in his classroom. He’s not a good sitter either! But with time and patience both his mom and his teacher are working to make him not only a good student but one who is prepared for future challenges. We’ll just have to hold hands and make sure neither of us jumps off a cliff.

 

Allison’s Take:

So when I graduated college with my teaching degree (some amount of years ago), I thought I was READY for the classroom. I thought, “Okay, I’ve been taught everything I need to know, now I just need to buy some cute stuff and figure out my organizational system. I’m an intelligent person, the teaching part will be a SNAP!” (cue everyone’s eyeroll and comments on my naiveté) Ya, boy was I WRONG!! I realized (very quickly) how much there was about teaching that I didn’t know, and therefore hadn’t prepared for. I was NOT ready for figuring out how to keep students engaged and on task. I just figured that since I was such a fascinating and humorous speaker (and humble Wink_Emoji_grande ) that OF COURSE the kids would be hanging on my every word. Well after that initial shock I started researching, studying, and trying out every strategy I could find. I came to realize that I can’t expect students to just sit and listen, I have to TEACH them how to do that, and when some aren’t able to I have to create options/alternatives so that everyone can be successful (and so I don’t pull my hair out!).

Last year I switched school districts, grade levels, and subjects, so naturally I thought, “Heck, what’s one more change?” I moved from the traditional desks to flexible seating. I did more research, and some shopping and came up with some interesting and engaging seating (or standing!) options for my little wiggleworms. Yes, it was difficult to let go of some of my more structured-some might even say OCD- tendencies, but at the end of the day I realized that once I gave kids choices I was not only lowering my stress level, but creating self-sufficient students who were in charge of their own learning. How cool is it that at 7 years old you know your best learning style?! Talk about being prepared for a lifetime of learning!

And like my mom said, my son is a PERFECT example of one of those “always on the go” kids. No matter how much experience I have in the classroom, my son is CONSTANTLY throwing me for a loop (euphemism for testing my patience daily!) His teacher and I have been in constant communication about his behavior/education in the classroom. I am so lucky that she has been so willing to be patient with him and try new things to help him be successful, self-regulating, and proud of his successes. ‘Cause I swear that boy hears his name called 100+ times a day! Is he ADHD? I don’t know. He’s still too young for that diagnosis. But what I DO know is that my job as his mom is to make sure that he is prepared with as many tools as I can provide, so that he can be successful, and hopefully save his future teachers’ (and his parent’s) sanity.

In short, I’ve learned that I am not only an educator, but a student. And as long as I am willing to learn from others (whether they are 4 or 94), and sometimes break out of my comfort zone,  amazing things can happen!

 “If children can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn” – Ignacio Estrada

EO for the day: Vetiver

Vetiver is good for improving ADHD symptoms, calming anxiety and improving brain health. Try diffusing it straight, or in a rollerball, mixed with lavender, cedarwood and a carrier oil.

If you are interested in ordering any of Young Living’s essential oils, feel free to click the link below!

https://yl.pe/54pw

 

 

Uncategorized

You’re going to do WHAT?!…

I can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard this from our husbands. My mom usually has the brilliant (sometimes known as CRAZY) ideas, and I willingly jump on board. It usually starts with “You know what would be fun….?”, and that’s when our husbands respond (before the sentence is even completed) with “we can’t do that/we can’t afford that/we have 2 kids!”) However, those 2 wet blankets have yet to slow us down 🙂 We love to check out local events (whether near Granbury, where mom and dad live, or New Braunfels, where my husband and I live). We take trips/experience new things as often as possible, sometimes adults only, and sometimes with my 2 crazy kids. Although I would love the ability to experience life the way my parents are able to (without the restrictions of kids/limited finances/limited time), I am determined to create memories with my little ones. I feel like they really benefit from new experiences, even if they are so hectic/crazy I have to come home and polish off a bottle of wine. And even though the guys may be initially hesitant, and it takes a LOT of convincing, they end up having a great time (and usually acting like it was their idea). My dad loves seeing new things, and my husband loves trying new foods (seriously, the guy will eat ALMOST anything!). Honestly, it’s a good thing they come along because they are our voice of reason-whether we like it or not. We have had some AMAZING experiences, and are continuing to add to them as often as possible. Hopefully you can relate to some of these experiences, and if not, at least laugh at/learn from our mistakes.