Substitute Teaching

I took elementary education in college. I have a teaching degree. I am a dog breeder. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN??? Oh yeah, I wanted to stay home and raise my kids, and home school them. I did what I wanted to do, and I’m happy about that.

But now they are all in school and it was my goal this year to do a little substitute teaching, and today was a day that I got to do just that. I worked at Kendrick’s school today and I loved every minute of it! I know I need to be a teacher for a living, someday, but for now, I’m happy just being the sub. It allows me to still be mom, still raise adorable puppies, and still have time to my self, without the pressure of having a full-time job.

I have to say that these kids are some of the best kids I’ve ever worked with, and I did a fair amount of subbing back before I was married. This is the 3rd time I’ve subbed at this school and I feel the kids really don’t give me a hard time at all. They are well-behaved and respectful, and that’s actually a lot to say about kids of this generation.

The day began like a normal day with worship, songs, prayer, and math class. The kids did some work on the computers for math today, an easy option when the sub takes over. After math, we piled into 3 vehicles and headed to a local church to help them clean up their “Journey Through Bethlehem” presentation that they had performed the previous weekend. I’m quite sorry that I didn’t know anything about it, as even the remnants of the activity looked amazing. I’m definitely putting this on my holiday to-do list for next season!

The kids worked in teams to tear down each little booth, depicting different elements that would have been normal in the town of Bethlehem when Baby Jesus was born. We bagged up lots of baskets, herbs, grains, pottery, jewels, and those are just a few of the ones I helped with. Each booth had several storage containers tucked away amidst the decorations, and we all dutifully filled them, and then hauled everything to a storage building near the church.

After we were all done with the project, they fed us pizza and Sprite, and there was plenty of food for all! The kids had worked up quite an appetite and I was glad they provided enough food for everyone to eat till they were plumb full! We then returned to the school and did some Christmas poetry reading before heading up to the Academy gym for basketball.

I loved the idea of playing basketball with the kids. Not only should I have been a teacher, but I should have been a P.E. teacher. The only reason I didn’t do it was because all my Academy classmates said that is what I was going to be, and somehow I got stubborn and decided to prove them wrong. I had so much fun helping the kids through some basketball drills, and finally setting up a couple 3 on 3 games, where I helped be sure everyone had a chance to handle the ball.

Before I knew it, I looked at my phone and it was 1:29pm, and I was supposed to have the kids back to the elementary campus by 1:30!! We all scrambled to put the balls away, and then scurried down to the elementary school, feeling a little guilty! After PE, it was time for music, and practicing for the upcoming Christmas program this Sabbath. During this time, the teacher’s aide took over, as she knew more about what was coming, and it was supposed to be a bit of a surprise for the parents.

After the practice time, we headed back to the school room, the kids did their BYL (before you leave) chores, and we said prayer and dismissed.

I know the day will come when I will teach in a classroom. I’m thinking once Kendrick is in high school, I would be able to handle a full-time job. But in the meantime, I am happy to sub, especially if all the days are enjoyable as today!! I felt happy all day long!

Forgotten Post

I found this draft of a post and have no idea where I was going with it. I think the pictures were to show a bit of the…

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New changes, no more carpet and a hard surface floor instead…

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Temporary horse containment, until The Woodman builds a nice fence for them to have space to run!…

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Kids helping keep the orphan litter alive during and after our move in August…

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And a quick Happy Birthday to The Woodman back in September.

Things were a whirlwind three months ago. I’m thankful things have settled into a basic routine and my days are generally happy!

Friendship

I am blessed with friendship. My friends drove almost 2 hours today, to take me out to lunch for a late B-day celebration!

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I introduced them to Chipotle, my favorite new “fast food” that isn’t really fast food, and then we went to another place for pie.

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I was stuffed and could only manage 4 bites of pie.

We talked about dogs. We talked about our kids. We talked about dogs. We talked about our plans for Thanksgiving. We talked about dogs. We talked about the food. And we talked about dogs some more.

We are all dog breeders, so we just can’t help it!

It was a great afternoon and I felt grateful when we said our good byes. I love that my friends would go out of their way to make my day special!

New Table

I’ve been looking sporadically for several years on Craig’s List for a formal dining room table. At the other house, we had a nice table but it had three glass panels on the top and was a royal pain to clean. When we moved, I refused to bring it with us. It was not my style and it fit perfectly in the other house, so it had to stay.

Thank goodness!

After we moved in August I began looking in earnest because our new home had a major void in the place waiting for a more formal dining room set. We had a nice little breakfast table, another Craig’s List find that I will blog about later, but with Thanksgiving looming around the corner, and family coming for the first time in over 5 years, I really wanted to have a table we could actually sit down at.

But I had very specific ideas about what I wanted, and of course it had to fit the space. My dream was to have a “farm table”, made of old barn wood, glossy and smooth and SOLID! I wanted 8 country chairs and I wanted some black in either the table legs or chair backs.

Easy to find, right?? Well…no!

I looked almost every day for almost 3 months. What I know about Craig’s List is that if you see what you’re looking for, you better be the first one to find it, look at it, and BUY it. There isn’t a lot of time to think about it once the item is out there and visible for all to see.

I found a few tables that were ok. They would have worked, but I knew that once I bought something, that would be IT for many, many years.

So I passed over the tables that would work, keeping my sights set on what I wanted, and not compromising on my dream or on quality.

Last weekend I missed a few days and forgot to look on Craig’s List, so when Sunday rolled around, I had several days worth of “dining room set” searches that I had to slog through. I’ve learned that being on my computer, and not on my phone is much easier for this job because the pictures are all viewable at once on the computer while you can see just one at a time on the phone.

And then I opened THE ad with MY table. It was almost exactly what I had imagined, except it wasn’t a classic old farm table, but it had a character of its own that made up for that little deficit.

I studied each photo in detail. I loved the chairs. I loved the pattern on the table top. I loved the color and it looked like substantial furniture. I made the call and talked to the gal. The table was at a lake house that the family was selling. It had been used twice. A death in the family was forcing the sale and it needed to be gone by Wednesday. There were actually 2 identical tables for sale, one that would have 6 chairs and one with 8 chairs (due to my suggestion since she originally was going to send 7 chairs with each table). I hung up and thought about it, a Craig’s List no-no.

The table was not cheap. It was not a “steal of a deal” (like my bedroom furniture which I will also share in another post), but it satisfied my entire want list, which of course covered my need list, and I never really look at the big price tag of an item, but instead let my mind calculate the price per use, as that is the best indicator of the worth of an item. I knew this table would probably be in my family for the rest of my life, so I called her back the next day.

She told me another lady had called and wanted a table with 8 chairs.

Gulp.

She then hesitated because she knew I had called her first and she let me know she had made no promises to anyone, and she guessed the first person to make the effort to look at the table and purchase it could take the 8 chairs if they wanted.

I needed no further motivation. The lake house was 2 hours away and it was beginning to snow, but I didn’t care. In an hour, I was in my Explorer and heading to Idaho. It was do or die time, and I’m a do-er!!

The last mile of the drive was a little scary. My snow tires are still not on the car and there were several inches of snow combined with dirt roads and hills. But thankfully the driveway to the lake house was flat and I pulled up to a magnificent home!

I will just say this about the home of my table. EVERYTHING was custom designed in that home…a bountiful feast for the eyes, a true work of art at every turn, and the petite little 65 year old woman, who had suddenly lost her husband, was responsible for all of this exquisite beauty.

It was a tragic story. The home was for family gatherings, a place for grandma and grandpa to live, and children and grandchildren to gather around the table and spend the holidays and summers together. The property was dreamy, matching the story book qualities of the home, but it had all been cut short, suddenly.

Even with objects bubble wrapped in every room, it was clear that the home was a master piece. I felt so terrible for their family and it seemed selfish to feel any happiness when at first glance, I knew the table was mine as the quality matched all the wonderfulness that surrounded me.

After about thirty minutes I gave her half of the money in cash as a deposit, and told her we would be back the next day to get the table and chairs. My heart went out to that tiny lady, so stylish, so tasteful, so talented, knowing that with each object that was removed from its space, a part of her died as the house was compartmentalized for the moving vans. Life can be so harsh and it reminded me that I’m not the only one with problems.

The next morning we got the kids to school then hooked up the Cougar Mountain trailer and made the 2 hour trek back up to Idaho. It took 2 strong men to move the table, built of solid oak, and The Wood Man successfully tucked everything into the trailer and we were soon on our way. At 1/2 mile away we realized we had forgotten the 2 leaves, so we turned around to fetch them. (The table will seat 10 comfortably with both leaves in, though I’m not sure if my space will actually accommodate it in its full glory.)

We made it home safely and I’m happy to present my amazing Craig’s List find to all of you fine people!

I’m a happy girl and can’t wait to use it for the first time on Thanksgiving!

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It was love at first sight! Do excuse the pile of books on the left that I’m still getting organized.

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I love the color and the distressed wood. The top is definitely not boring.

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I love how it looks like a barn door!

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It fits my space perfectly! I can’t wait to share many meals around this table with family and friends.

Ack! I guess that means I have to cook!

Duck Shoes

The sad day finally arrived just over 3 weeks ago. My beloved red “duck shoes” as they were called by the entire family, finally wore out to the point of…well, lets just say they found their grave in our trash trailer, and they have been sorely missed.

But an early birthday present arrived yesterday, clear from Germany, and a new pair of duck shoes will make their way into my life!

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This is the real name for them…

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Otherwise known as Birkenstocks!!

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The cool thing about these shoes is that they have the famous, and oh so comfortable Birkinstock sole, which molds around your foot for a truly customized fit.

The sole can be removed if the job will be a wet one, and it can be replaced, which I needed to do with the last pair.

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This time, I got navy blue, so they wouldn’t stand out if I forgot to change my shoes before going to town. I can’t tell you how many times I’d show up in town with big clonky red shoes on my feet.

The honest truth is, these shoes are UGLY, but they slip on in a flash, handle garden dirt, wet jobs, and even can trek their way through the snow, if it’s not too deep.

The only problem is that everyone wants to wear my shoes when they need to run outside, and many times they are not at the door where I left them. I told my kids I’d buy them a pair when their feet stopped growing, but they seem to just want to wear mine.

Oh well! I’m happy my new duck shoes are here. My feet have missed them!

PS, did in mention I wear these all year long?…with socks…with bare feet…in the sunshine…in the rain…in the snow?? They are so versatile and easy to slip into, I think everyone should own a pair!!

Rainbow

We took a hike yesterday with some church friends. The lake is so low right now we were able to hike out to what is normally an island. It was cold and windy but we had a nice time anyway.

At the very end of the day, we saw a rainbow! I always love rainbows and remembering that they originated with a promise from God.

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This next one is the result of me choosing “clarity” on my Camera+ app. It wasn’t quite this vibrant but playing around with photo enhancements is always fun!

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Green Gables

I need to document this day. The green house is officially ours! Escrow closed today and we have keys!

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This home is just 5 miles from the school my children will attend for the next 7 years. I’m really looking forward to living so close to school, church, and fairly close to town, though not too close!

The new house is cheerful and full of windows! The inside is always bright and sun-shiney! This is going to be good for me during the dreary winter months of the northwest. The weather is going to be more mild at this home, at least I don’t think the snow will fall quite as soon in the fall, and it will melt and stay melted earlier in the springtime.

We were there just yesterday and I failed to take any new photos. The grass is a vibrant emerald green now and spring is so evident at the new house. We were also surprised with a “lake” that we could see just across the road!

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The sounds of birds filled the sky with song. I hope every spring is greeted with this surprise. The picture doesn’t do it any justice. The water was a vibrant blue and it spanned the prairie and was alive with fluttering activity!

Finally, my children will have their own space and my daughter will have some privacy! The boys will share a room and Kaelyn will have her own room. She has been sharing with the boys for the past 5 years, and while that was fine when she was 11, it’s a whole different thing now that she is 15 going on 16!

The house has some really nice features and the kitchen has a dishwasher! I know this is so basic, but after living without one for 5 years, I’m ready for that little kitchen “gadget” to be back in my life. The things I’ve missed most about my home in California were the dishwasher and a room for Kaelyn.

When we were hoping to buy the home, I posted a bunch of pictures HERE.  I’m very thankful everything worked out and we will be moving sometime this summer.  “Silver Hill” has been a nice place to be, and especially while I was homeschooling, but now that the kids are involved in various activities and going to school every day, we simply need to be closer to everything.  We spend so much time driving and it’s quite exhausting day after day.  My friend called the new house “Green Gables”.  I don’t know if it will really stick.  I’d like to think of something a little more original.  I do like the idea of “naming” a home!