Sunday, October 16, 2011

Happy Now-Oct. 16

10 Things I am Happy for This Week:

1.  Java Junkie--A new little coffee and muffin stand has opened up near our home.  While I am not a coffee drinker, I have discovered that they make VERY GOOD hot chocolate.  I had driven by Java Junkie for quite a while before I finally stopped to check it out.  Upon discovering their fantastic hot chocolate, I decided that I would treat myself to a cup of their hot cocoa one morning a week on my way to work.  They open about the same time I am usually leaving in the morning, so I've never had to wait in line for this chocolaty pick-me-up.  I've found that I usually stop there Thursday mornings--needing that little extra help in the morning on the last day of the week before Friday.  This past week was no different,  and I sure was grateful for that little extra sweetness in my day!

2.  Anne Soundtrack--Following the example of one of the other 5th grade teachers at my school, I have recently started to play music in my classroom as students come in in the morning.  The music I play ranges from Disney soundtracks to Enya (when I need an especially calm morning).  Flipping through my stack of CDs Thursday morning and trying to decide what to play, I came across the Anne of Green Gables soundtrack that I bought on a Prince Edward Island trip with my roommates two and a half years ago.  The combination of having a cup of hot chocolate in my hand (see #1), listening to the Anne music, and the peace that comes right before the school day starts was an inspiring beginning to my day.  Once the students entered, I offered any student who could guess the correct title of the soundtrack $5 of class cash.  I gave them a hint: the girls might have a slight advantage.  I got several guesses, but the only student to guess correctly was a quiet little boy who sits in the back of the room.  Because of his mom and sisters, this poor little guy has seen the Anne series more times than he wishes to remember--but at least he got $5 of Colonial Cash out of it!

3.  Whole Wide World--iPod Shuffle--Have you ever set your iPod on shuffle and had every song that came on fit your mood perfectly?  That happened to me yesterday as I was out and about running errands.  Every carefree, happy song I own seemed to come on while I was listening yesterday, and it did wonders to lift my spirits.  One of the songs that came on was a song I just recently discovered: "Whole Wide World" by Mindy Gledhill.  The music video of the song below made me laugh a little, but I wanted to share it with you anyway.

4.  Student handshakes--At the end of the day last Wednesday, one of my students came up to me and wanted to show me some handshakes he had learned.  It is a simple thing, but I couldn't stop smiling as he demonstrated how the handshakes worked.  He took his job of teaching the teacher something cool very seriously ... and it made my day.

5.  Runner's high--In a moment of delusion at the beginning of the school year, I signed up for a half marathon at the end of October with some teachers at my school.  Since I've started teaching, I have not kept up on the training schedule for this run, which has caused me to doubt my ability to participate in the run in a couple of weeks.  Yesterday, however, I forced myself outside for the "long run" scheduled for that day.  While I wish I had been able to keep up a better pace during the run, I finished with a much-needed sense of accomplishment and hope.  I guess what they say about a "runner's high" really is true--even if you're not much of a runner! :)

6.  Fall apples--A TA at my school came by my classroom on Friday with a couple of bags in her hand.  She told me that she had a belated birthday gift for me and some apples she had picked off of her apple tree at home.  The birthday basket was filled with candy and an apple-scented air freshener for my classroom.  It was such a thoughtful gift!  And then she handed me the bag of delicious-looking fall apples.  I came right home and put them in a bowl to display in our kitchen.  They taste great and I love the fall colors they have brought into our home.

7.  Homebound husband--Darren returned home at the beginning of the week, which is definitely something for which I am grateful.  I'm surprised how lonely I got without him, even with his sweet notes.  So glad he's home!

8.  Capable PAs and Nurses--Darren and I had quite the adventure on Friday.  Darren was invited by another young husband in our neighborhood to go hunting with him on Friday.  Darren had never been Elk hunting before, but since he was only going to help spot I encouraged him to go.   I thought Darren would have fun (which he really did) and that it would be a great opportunity to get to know some people our age living around us better.  On their way home from hunting, I received a call from Darren saying that he had fallen while helping to bring back the Elk and had gotten pretty scraped up.  That is husband-talk for, "I will need you to take me to the nearest Urgent Care to get 22 stitches put into my nose and hand."  Yikes!  Despite the stressful circumstances, Darren and I both really appreciated the PA and nurse on duty at the Urgent Care.  They worked efficiently and were extremely sensitive to how both Darren and I were feeling.  They took really good care of both of us.  We left the Urgent Care so grateful for the capable and thoughtful people in the medical profession.

9.  A cheerful, trooper of a husband--Those who know me know that I don't handle medical emergencies well.  This is the case despite the profession the males in my immediate family have chosen.  I did my best to remain supportive, calm, and nurturing during the incident described above, but it took every ounce of will power I had.  I was amazed, however, at how well Darren handled the situation.  He was in a good deal of pain Friday and yesterday.  I could tell by the way he winced while the doctors worked on cleaning and stitching him up and how he closed his eyes and just needed to walk around the apartment last night when we were replacing the bandages.  He was prescribed some pain medication, but that made him nauseated.  Through all of this, however, he always talked to me cheerfully and made me feel as though I was meeting his every need, though I know that I wasn't.  He constantly thanked me and apologized for making my weekend difficult.  I am thankful he didn't act as I would have in his position and can only hope that our future children inherit his calm and patient reaction to stressful situations.

10.  Cookie Monster Food Drive Can--Over the past three years that I have work there, Reagan Academy has made an effort to provide a variety of service project opportunities for the students.  Every fall, Reagan hosts a Food Drive.  Classrooms are encouraged to decorate their Food Drive Can.  Though it shouldn't, the task of getting 27 5th graders to creatively and efficiently decorate a can has always been a little overwhelming to me.  I am always amazed, however, when we decide on how to decorate the can and I just turn it over to the students, how well the can turns out!  My first year, the students decided to make a witch stirring her cauldron.  My second year our can became Humpty Dumpty.  This year, the students got really excited about Cookie Monster.  Students voluntarily sacrificed their recess time to finish what they couldn't finish in the time I allotted them in class.  They brought in 88 cans to "feed" the cookie monster.  I get so touched seeing these kids turn their hearts to others and have fun while serving those less fortunate.  Kids can set such great examples in so many areas of life, which is part of the reason why I enjoy spending my days with them as much as I do.


  1. Wow- tell Darren to get better fast! Poor guy!

  2. You are so sweet and uplifting, thanks I needed that tonight. I hope Darren is feeling better! There is nothing like having your sweetheart be in pain to un-nerve you. It sounds like you handled it well:-)

  3. dear kate
    how i love making the "rounds" of your life with you - ispirational! (healing prayers to darren & well done to you for keeping calm and cool). i remember your mom telling me how much you loved PEI - it is so great how "travel memories" set up homes in our hearts and ripple out in our life... thank you for sharing it all...
    much love to you & darren.
    thanks for your visit to "my place"... glad you loved the post.


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