QUOTE OF THE DAY: One I find so, so relevant here on this first day of school: These babies of yours, no matter pre-k, grade school, middle, high school or college -
"What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family."
My happiest wishes for everyone starting school today that it was a great one, to be followed by many many more. I hope that some families, more than just a few will sit down and share not only their dinner together but share a conversation about their day as well. Welcome to the new school year. :)
This is a reblog from http://arewegoingtodoanythingtoday.wordpress.com
I think it has an important message worth sharing.Parents, this is a letter a teacher WISHES she could write to her classes parents. Please read this with an open mind and remember that our teachers have taken on what at times is an overwhelming task of teaching our kids. As a Parent Volunteer who has logged countless hours in the classroom I can atest to the hard work these educators are doing, the love they are giving our little ones, and at times the mistakes they've made. I ask you again to think, without judgement, have I ever made a mistake in my OWN workplace? We are all human, all of us.
There are so many things I wish I could say, but alas, I am not allowed. Ok, anyone who actually knows me, knows that I would NEVER say these things, but this is how I really feel, and this is the truth; at least it’s my truth. Dear Parent/Guardian,
I am looking forward to a great year with your student. I have spent my
summer learning new strategies, and looking at ways to improve student learning.
Not a day has gone by that I didn’t at least think about something I would like to do or change in order to enhance student learning. I have ignored statements made about what I do with my summers, ignored reports of testing on the news,
and done what I know is right. I know, that if I do my best to help and teach all students, tests will take care of themselves.
Every summer, not only do I prepare curriculum, but also prepare my
classroom. I believe that no student should have to receive a lower grade because they can’t afford basic supplies. I stock my room with $1500-$1800 worth of supplies from my own money. I go to trainings year round. I go to school an hour early, and will stay late to help your child do the very best they can. I don’t ask for much in return. Here’s what I would like:
1. Respect my time. If your student stays late, please pick them up.
2. Don’t speak negatively about teachers in front of your student. It undermines our ability to be the authority figure in the classroom. If I can’t discipline your child because you have told them not to worry about what a teacher says, it disrupts the learning of others. If it were the other way around, would you be up at the school demanding a conference because your child couldn’t learn in that environment?
3. I don’t mind providing supplies when needed, but please don’t take advantage of me. I don’t make enough to support 110 children.
4. I need more than 24 hours to grade 110 essays. Don’t call or email complaining that grades aren’t updated.
5. Guess what, sometimes students lie; sometimes teachers make mistakes (we are human after all). If something is bothering you,
please call or email so we can discuss it before you jump to conclusions.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact
I am sure I have left some things out, but this is what comes to mind as I begin to shop for supplies.
Again, Please think about this, and I would love to hear your thoughts.
Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!
So, somehow I found this, I was led over to it you may say...it's worth reading EVERY word. Not everyone feels crappy about their bodies, some women - REAL WOMEN - really love their bodies - these vehicles that tote around our souls...
On a scale of 1 to 10 how do YOU feel about your vehicle? Do you love it, cherish it, maintain it...or do you loath it, wish you could trade it in for another model? Are you a Mini Van, a clunker, or a Mercedes Benz...think about it...and get back to me ;)
The following is reposted with permission by the original author:
CASEY - you can read her blog - which is really great at:http://diaryofafitmama.blogspot.com/
This is a positive blog by a positive woman who happens to be happy with who she is as a woman and as a mom. All girls grow up to be women...remember? What kind of girl are you now? It has a LOT to do with the kind of woman you will be. THINK ABOUT IT!!
ENJOY:Proud - by CASEY @ Diary of a fit mama...I love my body. I am serious. What do you think of when I say that? I am curious? I think our society has tried to train us to hate our bodies and doubt ourselves so that we can buy more, need more. What I realized and have been going over in my mind is that for once in my life, I am totally and completely proud and in love with my body. I hope that by writing this and sharing how I feel will help others do the same or possibly give them permission to CHANGE how they feel about themselves. Let it be okay to be happy and loved. Every single person deserves this feeling because we are all amazing just because we exist. I just got super deep right there, but I am serious. It was not an easy journey to get to this realization. There were many many years that I did not feel this way. In fact, I probably hated my appearance for a number of stupid reasons that I completely imagined up in my head. BUT this is the first time in my life that I actually love myself, inside and out. Sure, sometimes I pick on myself or get into negative thinking but I make a decision to be concious of that, to redirect that, to be in charge of my thoughts. I have been on a journey to find peace and the key to that has been love. Every time. So, my question is, do you love yourself and is that okay? Do you want to live in a happy body that feels respected and appreciated? Seriously, what if your body was a seperate being, like your best friend. (If you think about it, your body does a whole heck of a lot more than anyone or anything else in your life) What if everyday, day in and day out you were hurtful, negative and mean to your best friend? Saying things like, you are so ugly, lazy, you could never do that, why are you so fat, ugh, you are just gross. How would that feel? Horrible! Just typing those statements got me feeling all not good. How would your body react? Negatively. Then please tell me why someone who says they are happy with themselves, they love themselves, why does society try to make them feel conceited, less than, egotistical? We are all in charge of how we react to things and how we feel about things. That is where the power lies.
The main reason I love teaching fitness classes is helping people find respect and love for their bodies. There are days I position the bikes so that people are forced to look themselves in the eye. I am shocked when an ENTIRE class of beautiful, fit women have trouble doing that. I have also seen a room that starts out avoiding eye contact in the mirror, open up to it- and realize its safe and actually pretty cool. I LOVE THAT! I want the world to know that it can be okay to completey and totally love who you are, no matter what. How did I come to this realization? It really started with setting a goal for myself because I needed something. I have been writing it down for atleast the last 5 years and that is-- I want to have a healthy and happy relationship with my body. That has been my goal for awhile because I was really struggling. Part of me didn't even believe I would ever really accomplish that goal but I knew I would never stop trying to find my path.
Let me break it down for you:
In high school I was completely insecure and so worried about being liked. I had little self respect although there was a little bit hiding in there somewhere. Of corse this lack of self confidence showed itself in my behavior and relationships.
College- I started to really love working out and lost alot of weight the summer before I started WSU but I was a little too obsessed with being HOT. I was way too concerned with the scale and being skinny with little regard to how I was feeling in my body. I had confidence but not inward. I remember thinking, "I hope I can lose weight and look really good and then I will get a fresh start. No one will know who I really am or that I am not cool at all." I decided my self worth based on how I fit into my pants or looked in the party pics. I really didnt realize how far off I was, I thought I was rockin it. oh boy, I had a long way to go.
Late twenties were a mix of finding more of myself and still struggling with my insecurities. I was too busy getting my party on, hiding behind alcohol and trying to figure out who I was after college, to even slow down and form a relationship with myself, although this is when I started to open my eyes. I started to want more.
Dont get me wrong- I was never a bad person and I had a great time through all of this, my point is, I was not proud of my body during any of those years, no matter what I looked like. That is when I had the beauty of youth on my side but no matter how I looked, I felt ugly and obsessed because of my head space.
At 33 years old I have never felt healthier in my life. I am 15 pounds heavier than my college days, I have had a baby and I am far from perfect but I LOVE myself. I have learned how to find the mind body connection and focus on how I feel rather than how I look. I do think I look great and I want that to be okay. I feel strong when I exercise, I LOVE food and am so happy that I finally know how to eat without feeling too full. I can carry my 40 lb child through the grocery store AND push that TOTALLY LAME cart that looks like a car. I eat desert quite often and love my carbs but I want to feed my body healthy foods because it feels so much better. It feels awesome to be inside a body that is healthy, strong and loved. My perspective and my mind have created this love and acceptance for my body, not the way I eat or how I workout although of corse that matters. It had to start in my mind and my heart before anywhere else. Once I let go of trying to do things to look good or fit into someone else's standards, I found what I had always wanted.....to love myself and my body no matter what. Funny how once you let go the magic happens. Once the love is there you want to eat better, exercise, see what you can accomplish.
I hope anyone who is reading this who feels lost or would like to change their perpsective, realizes you can, 100%. What if you started just by setting a goal for yourself? What is it you really want and how do you want to feel inside your own body? That might just start a chain reaction into motion that can guide you wherever you want to go.Posted by Casey
at 1:55 PM
What is the number one problem facing kids today, and how do we solve it?
I thought about it for a little bit, and this was my answer (of course!):
So many kids aren't taught to trust their instincts. When people trust their instincts, they have self confidence and self reliance since instincts are everyone's internal self protection system! Kids need reinforcement from all levels, parents, extended family, community, other adult role models other than parents (these are so important - more on that later...)- but the thing is, this isn't a judgment - most adults don't trust their own instincts either, so how can someone teach what they don't even know themselves?
Since my dad's a cop, he has razor sharp instincts, and passed them all down to us kids. We were taught to look for things other kids weren't, because he had seen so many things in his career that he could bring home and apply to us. Now most of it was: If you do this, you'll go to jail! If you do that, you can DIE!! So for a while, I was like, HOLY CRAP!! What can I do that won't land me in jail, or kill me, or both!! I had to learn to trust my own instincts, based on some outside information that at times could be pretty extreme. I learned that everything I needed to keep me on the right path was right inside of me, if I just listened. If I listened to that little voice inside, it would keep me sane..and interested, and active...while everything around me, other than my family and real friends was telling me something completely different.
You never stop learning. Even as adults we are always learning, sometimes we know how to better avoid the snakebites, but sometimes they get us all the same. Each "bite" includes a lesson..
Sometimes people want your help and sometimes they don't. Don't get too caught up in other peoples drama, and don't insert yourself where you don't belong. You can't fix everyone, or everything. Accept that!! Some people ask for help but don't really want it. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET CAUGHT UP IN THEIR DRAMA - this has happened to me more than once, and I keep getting bit, haven't learned the lesson yet... *sigh*
When someone continues to ask your opinion, but doesn't really want it, they will give you signals over and over again that they DON'T want it. Here's an conversation to give you an example:
I'm going to do this________________, and then I'm going to do this_____________________. What do you think?
Well, I don't think you should do that and this is why, you are going to get hurt, you're actions are going to hurt someone else, it's dangerous, and it's a bad idea.
Response, yea..well, I don't know.
YEA, I DON'T KNOW??? - that is your signal they aren't listening, and don't really want to hear what you have to say.
If you are having conversations like this with anyone, they don't really want your input, your advise, your opinion, period. They aren't listening to you, and they are probably going to do the exact opposite of what you tell them. They are not looking for advise, they are looking for conversation. And usually you will find it's a conversation about them, that perpetuates their drama. If this is frustrating for you, leave the conversation. If you don't, chances are you are going to get snake bit. And don't get involved in their stuff. Don't put yourself in the middle of the action, even if you are just doing your best to help. This is a very bad idea. Trust me on this. Your help isn't wanted. When you keep telling someone something they really don't want to hear, that goes against their wishes (and their actions) they will eventually get tired of hearing it and strike back. If you drop yourself into the situation, they will strike back. Whether it's with actions or words, that bite stings. Usually that bite is that individual's way of saying "I keep asking you the same questions and I'm tired of your answers. You are not doing what I want you to do. GET OUT OF MY LIFE!"
BITE!!! ouch that stings. But if you don't listen, and keep going back, you'll get bit again and again until you get it. No relationship is worth that. Take the hint and acknowledge it for what it is, and walk away.
One Note: the bird in the photo above looks innocent, and unknowing of what's to come. In truth if you are in a potential snake bite situation, you usually know it. Do yourself a favor and fly away.
I started coaching (soccer) again this week. Instead of U-11, I'm coaching 3-5 year olds and what a switch it is! Coaching tiny kids is like herding cat. Very fast giggling, happy cats. But what fun it is. I missed coaching. Seeing a kid's face when they score a goal (no goalie - just for fun) is the best. Pure Joy and it's completely contagious. Kind of nice to take a step back from the competition. I'll leave that to Pic.
As a CASA in Williamson County (Court Appointed Special Advocate) I am assigned a child by the court to speak for IN court. My job - (although I'm a volunteer) is Guardian ad Litem - The function of the GAL is to advocate in Court for abused, neglected and abandoned children who have been declared dependent by the Court, kids that are in the system. I am basically a liaison between this child and everyone else involved, - CPS, all the lawyers, the parents, the judge, and anyone else relevant to that child's case.
At any given time I'm an investigator, a researcher, a writer (CASAs write and submit reports that become a part of the Court Record), a mediator and a listener, a cheerleader and promoter, a fighter and a defender. At ALL times, I'm an advocate, with the best interest of that child at the forefront of my work. It's not always easy, and can be trying, highly emotional, frustrating, exhilarating and debilitating, sometimes all in one day. While doing this work, I started to see the connection between being a Guardian ad Litem and a parent and began to apply what I have learned as a GAL to my own parenting. I began to see myself not only as a parent, but as my own
children's ADVOCATE as well...I thought, why don't I share what I've learned with other parents, so here it is...
First and most important: Have a sense of humor!!!!Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying, or screaming, or both. Humor is an invaluable tool. USE IT!
Be the investigator and researcher
Be the mediator and listener
- Expanding out, or the ripple effect: Know your kids by knowing their friends, and their friends parents
- If something doesn't sound right, trust your instincts and make the connections, FEELINGS LEAD TO FACTS
- Understand their community - from the outside in - again, the ripple effect
Be their cheerleader and promoter
- Do your best to be neutral. It starts out hard, but gets easier, I promise.
- Don't take it personally (See above)
- See the whole picture from above (BACK to neutrality)
- See your child as the person they are, the person you have been "assigned" to parent by taking the emotion out of it (yep, back to neutrality)
- Use the information you have available to you to assess each individual situation
Be their fighter and defender
- When they're experiencing highs, lift them up, be the wind beneath their wings (yea, I said it.)
- When they're experiencing lows, be the one that's there to pick them up. Remember that toddler that took a tumble and needed they're mommy or daddy to pick them up and dust them off, dry their tears and give them a hug? They're still in there, and they still need you, especially when they say they don't.
- Talk them up in front of them. You'll get an eye roll, but they hear you, and it matters. A lot.
And last, and most important: HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR!!!!Don't miss out on who your kids are because you're too busy parenting them.I would like to invite anyone that is interested in learning more about being your own child's advocate to attend Tuesday night's PTA meeting at Pleasant Hill School at 6:30pm. I'll be speaking about everything listed above and welcome any questions about being a CASA or about being "your own child's advocate". If you can't make the PTA meeting or don't attend Pleasant Hill - or if you would like for me to speak to your PTA or parenting group please contact me by leaving a comment below, as always, thanks for reading, and remember - you are your OWN child's advocate!Interested in being a CASA? Check out the link below for CASA Williamson County:http://williamsoncountycasa.org/ For CASA Travis County:http://www.casatravis.org/ CASA's truly make a difference, one child at a time.It's the second hardest job I've ever done that I don't get paid for. The first one is parenting.
- Ask yourself, "What's worth fighting for?" You know the answer - whether it's for or against them.
- Know when to direct and know when to listen and do them both with love.
- Ask the hard questions, and LISTEN to the answers. Even when you don't like them. Especially when you don't like them. That's when it matters most.
- When it comes time to fight for them, STAND and DO IT and don't back down. Let them hear you be their advocate. It impresses them more than you will ever know.
I found this list online. I thought it was worth passing along...Hope everyone is having a happy Sunday.
Here is a list of GOOD STUFF - I didn't write it, But I like it, hope you do too.
Three things I would add to it:
Do what you can with what you've got.
Leave things better than you found them.
A Smile doesn't cost a thing, so why not give them away?
OK, here's the list!
ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
TWO. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
THREE. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
FOUR. When you say, "I love you," mean it.
FIVE. When you say, "I'm sorry," look the person in the eye.
SIX. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
SEVEN. Believe in love at first sight.
EIGHT. Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much.
NINE. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.
TEN. In disagreements, fight fairly. Please No name calling.
ELEVEN. Don't judge people by their relatives.
TWELVE. Talk slowly but think quickly.
THIRTEEN. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, "Why do you want to know?"
FOURTEEN. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
FIFTEEN. Say "bless you" when you hear someone sneeze.
SIXTEEN. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
SEVENTEEN. Remember the three R's:
Respect for self;
Respect for others;
Responsibility for all your actions.
EIGHTEEN. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
NINETEEN. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
TWENTY-ONE. Spend some time alone.
So it's time to put my money where my mouth is....or something like that.
Time for a lesson in C H A N G E...
Sometimes things have to break apart - stale things, stagnant things....boring things, things we've gotten used to, but don't know how to leave...for something good to come out of it. Sometimes it sucks. Sometimes it hurts, but once you get past that, opportunities present themselves and if you're looking for them, you can snag a pretty good one.
Here's what I'm talking about. I recently chose to leave an organization that had been a big part of my life for a long time. It had provided a lot of opportunities for me and my family. But it had stopped working for me. It just wasn't a good fit for us anymore. It literally didn't fit me, and was making me uncomfortable. Kind of like your favorite sweater that got shrunk in the dryer that's a little too short now, and scratches you under the arms now, you wish it still fit, but it doesn't. And there isn't anything you can do about it but give it to goodwill or your little sister or whatever, but it's got to go. To make room for something new - possibly something better. You've got to let it go....
When I left that organization, I was bummed. Really bummed. But the very next day, after thinking it over, I started talking to people. More importantly, I started LISTENING to people. People that had ideas for something new. Taking some guidance from a friend who made one single phone call, and after some discussion of weither or not it was a good fit (a NEW, cozy, JUST RIGHT sweater...) I was invited to join a new organization - one that fits me much better, one with more opportunity for my family and me. With a little room to grow even. So it worked out better than I thought it could have, but that first relationship had to break apart first, for the second one to present itself.
Has something like this ever happened to you? You felt uncomfortable, have grown out of something,scratching and pulling to try to make it keep fitting, and didn't know how to leave it? Been part of a relationship or a friendship then felt "pushed out" or left behind? When things like that happen you can see it as a good thing or a bad thing - when you see it as a good thing opportunites present themselves. When one presents itself, snag it, and see where it takes you.
Chances are, it's JUST RIGHT.
So here it is. My first blog post. I'm about to launch this site and put it all out there and hope somebody cares. It's a little scary, unsettling, exciting and exhilerating all at the same time. I'm finally good with that. Time to put it on the line. I encourage you to do the same. This is my "IT". What's yours? It's probably not your job, or your status, or your car or your perfectly manicured lawn. What is it? That thing that you may hide from everyone, but that really makes you happy and giddy and feel a little goofy when you do it, or think about it, or share it with someone else? What is your dream?
I've been working on this concept for a really long time. Years long. Probably 7 years or more. It finally scratched around inside of my head long enough that I had to get it out. So I started writing it, which probably took about 3 years for me to get the courage to do. Putting a pen on that very blank page of paper, with all of the other blank pages behind it is scary. Sitting down and staring at that blank screen with that little 1/4 inch vertical line blinking at you relentlessly...now. now. now.
So I started writing, and now I never stop. If you call me, and ask me what I'm doing, I'm probably writing. I know so many people that want to write, but don't think that they can. Well, I'm here to tell you - you can. Really. Or draw, or sing, well, maybe not WELL, but you can do it. Try it. See where it takes you. It may give you a little joy, or a laugh, or someone else a laugh. And isn't that a good thing?
Get it out there, share it. Entertain it, coddle it, wake it up, poke it with a stick. Do something with it, but don't hide it. Don't cover it. Don't make it small. It is a part of who you are, and it connects you to those parts of what other people are too. It's the real stuff, the good stuff. Give it a try, see where it takes you.
If you do try something, or are currently doing your IT, and you feel like it, please share it. Send me a link to your page, a writing, a link to your YouTube video. If it fits with the concept of IPC I'll post it on the community page. Send me an email with IT in the subject line, along with permission to post it to the page. If you want to send something that you don't want posted mark it private. This an invitation to everyone, kids and adults. Let's see what you've got.
OH BTW: If you have lost touch with your IT, here is a good book to help you find it:
THE ARTIST'S WAY by Julia Cameron. You can find this book at just about any half price books and they usually have several copies. This is a good book for ideas to spark your creativity, and good to help keep you on track. I've started and stopped this book probably a hundred times, because you know, life gets in the way. Check it out, do what you want with it. They probably have it at the library too. Here is a link to the page as well:www.theartistsway.com
One note, and it even says so on the cover, this is a spirituality based book. Not religion, but it does mention GOD and the like. This is what I'll say, if it speaks to you, get it. If not, leave it. This is how I feel, take what applies to you and leave the rest. If you have a book or work by someone that really inspires you, please share it! Let's get some good, creativity-initiating stuff out there!