Saturday, November 28, 2009

Daddio and Liz

Daddio was a big hit this Thanksgiving with Miss Liz! Between reading books, taking pictures, and his clean shoes, his granddaughter was quite smitten! I do love my dad and my niece!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Lesson

The past two years, the two days before Thanksgiving break have been two of my favorite days to be a teacher. We would do rotations and in each group, we would have an activity to learn more about the lives of the Pilgrims and our Thanksgiving traditions/symbols. The kids LOVE it and we just have a great time. Since I am not in the classroom anymore, it was quite different today. I bounced around from grade to grade helping in their own celebrations. In addition to that, I spent part of the morning (yesterday and today) with one of my pull out kiddos. He is Jehovah's Witness and cannot participate in any holiday activities. Yesterday we "ran errands" around the school and played word games. It was really fun to be with this little guy. He talks a lot so I have to really be on him to be quiet in class. However, the past two days, he has been able to talk his heart out! Such a sweet boy!

*Sidenote: When I asked him to describe a clown yesterday, he responded with, "Cheeky!"

Today my team had a pot luck lunch. I was making fruit salsa with cinnamon sugar tortilla chips. Since it was fruit and I wanted it to be fresh, I decided that my time with the student today would be making the salsa. I bought a cheap chopper and let him go to town. All of that six year old boy energy chopped fruit faster than I have ever seen! While we chopped and mixed, we talked. About half way through, I asked him if he ever helps his mom in the kitchen. He told me that they just moved to a new hotel room and this one doesn't have a kitchen. As a matter of fact, he has never really been in a kitchen before.

This was a huge ah-ha moment for me. Instead of feeling sorry for him because he couldn't make a turkey, my heart broke for him. Here he was, a first grader, and his first experience making any kind of food was in a portable classroom with his reading intervention teacher. He loved every moment of it and was beyond enthusiastic! However, he has never licked a beater after his mom makes a cake. He has never helped ice cookies or helped stir the macaroni and cheese. He has never helped make a salad.

Instead of crying (like I wanted to), I told him what a good job he was doing. I said that he should be a chef. We talked about what a chef is and what kind of food he would make. I tasted the simple salsa and ooo-ed and awwwww-ed at what a fantastic job he did. He smiled this big crooked smile and asked if he could help me cook again sometime. I told him that in about three weeks I would need some more help (Christmas/winter parties). He just said, "aw-wight!" So in three weeks we will cook again and we will talk about being a chef. He will be the most amazing cook in the first grade and I'll do whatever I can in those few hours to plant seeds that can break the cycle his family is in.

Who knows - maybe the very next Emeril is sitting in my room instead of celebrating a holiday.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lessons from the Corner

Each day on my way home, I get stopped at the intersection of I-10 and Hwy 6. Most days there is a man on the corner with a cardboard sign. There are a few regulars that I have come to recognize and have spoken to a few times. Nice men is need of a little help. There is even one guy that I look for because the next time I see him, I'm thinking of taking him to the new coffee shop on the corner. Most days, their signs talk about being in need of money, out of work, and/or being a Veteran. Most people get on their phones and avoid eye contact at all cost. My heart breaks for these men. They are treated like they have the plague.

Today, I sat at the light and looked over to see a new face. I've never seen him before but there he was - missing his front few teeth and leading the cutest dog ever. He had the most contagious smile I have seen all day long. He looked drivers in the eye, smiled at them, and waved enthusiastically. He made the corner of my mouth turn up a bit. I glanced at his sign and all it said was "Cheeseburger, please!" followed by a smiley face. It was too much. I burst out smiling and laughing. He saw me, smiled, waved, and gave me a thumbs up. I have never been so sad to not have cash on me. He made my day!

As I drove past, two thoughts entered my mind: 1) I hope he is there tomorrow and 2) what a brat I am! Here was a man with very little, obviously full of joy and seeking his daily bread. One smile, one meal, full of joy. There I was, sitting in my car on my way home to prepared dinner feeling a little down after spending a rough-ish day at my very secure job. There he was, with no income just hoping for the generosity of others, smiling like it was Christmas Day. It was obvious who has their perspective correct.

Today, I wish I was more like the man on the corner.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Thank you, thank you, and thank you for your prayers for my coworker! Today, an emergency C-Section was performed and this world welcomed little Dalton. He is 3 pounds exactly and is 20 inches long. There is concern about his lungs but he is in NICU for a little while. Mom is doing very well. She feels great and is beyond in love with her son. As soon as a picture is available, I'll share with you the results of your prayers.

"Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom!" - Psalm 145:3

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Prayer Request Update

Thank you so much for praying for my friend! They did a stress test today and the decision was made to schedule a c-section for Thursday. The only area of development that the doctors are concerned about are the baby's lungs. They are giving her a series of shots to help in that area and then on Thursday, we will welcome her son into the world. She is OK but still in shock. As things continue, I'll update more. Thanks again for your petitions on her behalf!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Urgent Prayer Request

Last year, God blessed me with the opportunity to work with an amazing woman. She is the most positive, loving woman I've ever met. I don't think that I have ever heard a negative word come put of her mouth. She loves her students, family, and friends so much!

As we got to know each other, she told me that before moving to Houston, she and her husband lost a son in her eighth month of pregnancy. She had to deliver him stillborn and it was devastating for them. Time was healing them as much as it could and they leaned deeply on God. Then, last April, she announced to us that she was pregnant again. Aside from my niece and nephew, I've never been so excited or prayed harder for a baby in my life. She is due on December 18th.

I just got a call that she was admitted to the hospital this afternoon. The doctor is concerned that the baby does not have enough room so they are keeping her to observe the baby overnight. She just text me that everything is looking good so far. I'm just so scared for her to lose another baby at 8 months. She sounds alright but I know this is in the back of her mind.

Since God is not bound by time, I ask you to prayer for her and the baby as soon as you get this. I so appreciate you joining me in this!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Me? Wrong? Of Course......

About two months ago, I wrote a rather embarrassing post about my celebrity crush of Adam Richman. At the time I ended the post with this sentence, "However, the reality of a Houston school teacher meeting the host of a popular national television show is highly unlikely." Well, looks like I could have been wrong....

I was just looking through my email at a list of events coming to the House of Blues and guess who is going to be in Houston on December 2? Oh my word!! If I were not expecting to meet my very first nephew, tickets would in strongly considered.

Oh what a nerd am I!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Oh the Things They Will Say

I haven't blogged about work too much this year. It's been pretty different in both good and bad ways. I'm working with a completely new population within our school through our REACH (reading) and Title (math) intervention programs. We are working with the kids that 15 years ago would have been in special education or pretty close to it. Most days are fine but every once in a while, it can be pretty daunting. This morning we had a meeting that was very overwhelming. Those of us on that team were pretty shell shocked. But bless 'em, we had kids that just made us laugh and laugh and laugh. Because, truth be told, if you don't laugh, you'll cry - really hard. Here are the things that broke our tension with delirious laughter:

Me: Who is your teacher?
Kinder kid: Mrs. REACH
Me: Yes, you are in REACH but who is your teacher?
Kinder kid: Mrs. REACH!
(10 minutes later)
His Teacher: Do you know my name?
Kinder kid: No
His Teacher: Ms. Mitchell
Kinder kid: Oh
His Teacher: OK, so what is my name?
Kinder kid: Mrs. REACH

Overheard from the boys' restroom:
- I left my pee in the water!

Teacher to a girl in the restroom (notice a pattern here):
Teacher: Why aren't you using the restroom?
2nd grader: The toilet won't flush.
Teacher: Did you push the lever down?
2nd grader: Yes
Teacher: Are you sure?
2nd grader: Yes
Teacher pushes the lever and the toilet flushes
2nd grader: Oh. I didn't try that.

Teacher: What are some things that you could be doing at 7:00 a.m.?
Student: Getting home.

Three minutes after giving a reading passage to students:
Student: I'm finished
Teacher: Are you sure? You read the passage and answered all of the questions in three minutes?
Student: Oh yeah, I forgot to read it!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

What a Week!

Well, unfortunately I have had major blogging block. Thankfully I have been almost too busy to feel too bad but for you that means the simple, boring week in review until I have something else to share. Here you go:

Monday - God was incredibly gracious and gave me an unexpected night at home after placing an order at a bakery. He sure know what I needed!

Tuesday - Our school had its 40th Birthday Celebration. It was amazing! All of the former principals came back including the man the school is named for. It was such a sweet time to honor him as well as everyone who has served our school and helped make it what we love today. There were several tears of gratitude shed. It made for a long night but it was so sweet!

Wednesday - I helped host a bridal/baby shower for a couple of girls I work with. So fun but so crazy! Note to self - when doing a school wide shower, have more than two hostesses! Some of our former teammates came so we had some time to catch up. I left straight from work to head to church. Again, another long day but a good one!

Thursday - After work, a couple of girls and I went to see Mary Poppins. LOVED IT! It you get a chance to go, do it! It is a great story and visually stunning! I could go on and on but this is just a recap... It was nice to see my friends outside of school and just catch up. Working across campus can really make you miss your friends!

Friday - Dinner with the Johnsons and then watching Little Girl while her parents went on a date. I sure do love her! Lesson of the night - get faster at getting her dressed after bath time! I'm not anywhere near as practiced as her folks. Spent the night there.

Saturday - Come home after breakfast. Later, met up at church for First Fest with the Bhutanese. What an amazing fall festival with some of my favorite new people! Then, home again and crashed big time for a much needed night of rest.

Sunday - God dominoed everything on me today - in the best of ways. From an amazing time of prayer, worship, and study to meeting up with friends to discuss some of the harder aspects of scripture, He was all over today in revelation and conviction. My cup overflows!

Now off to bed so I can start this week well rested. Hope you all have a good one!