Close call

The wisdom found in the theme song from the 80's t.v. show The Facts of Life really applies to my week so far: you gotta take the good, and take the bad. Monday: Halloween. 34 nine-year-olds. Lots of sugar. Controlled chaos. Exhausting, but all in all, a really fun day.  And I will never grow tired of introducing a child to the joy of watching It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

 "I got a rock." (Been there, Charlie Brown. Been there.)
  Tuesday: Awesome day of teaching.  They were engaged. They listened intently. We laughed. We watched dry ice sublimate. We all learned something. I finished the day thinking, "I love my job!" Wednesday: Awful day of teaching. I wanted to bang my head against the wall during the math lesson.  They just weren't getting it.  I explained it 5 different ways. And they still didn't understand. And the day didn't ever go up from there. They talked. A lot. It was windy outside, and that just makes them all a little nutty. I had mountains of tasks to complete.  I ended the day feeling like a complete failure. And you know, that's always fun. Thursday: A day off from work. So. Thankful. For. That. It's amazing how 11 hours of sleep and an excessive amount of time in my pj's will give me a whole new perspective on things. It's a close one, but I think when I add in a few really great conversations I had with some of the wonderful people in my life and a rockin' party that I'm headed to tomorrow night, the scale's gonna tip toward me ending up with a good week. Phew!

Best. Decision. Ever.

Last spring, I made a big decision to teach part-time.  And now, here at the end of October, I find myself two months into my new schedule and simplified life.  Guess what?  It's totally awesome.  =)  No, really.  I am SO thankful that God made it possible for me to team teach and that he gave me the courage to go for it.

Some wide open space and the beautiful sky from a weekend trip I went on to Arizona.
There are lots of things I could share about how I'm filling my time and things I'm learning in this new season, but for now, here are three observations:

I'm doing a lot of the same things I was before, but now I have time to actually enjoy myself while I'm doing them.  I'm still teaching and loving kids, ministering at church, hanging out with friends and family, homemaking and hostessing. But I'm not stressed as I do all those things! I may have shifted my teaching schedule to part-time, but I'm still living life full-time.

I'm smiling a lot. When I first decided to make this big change, lots of people would ask me what I wanted to do with my extra time.  On many occasions, I would list off a few things and then make a joke along the lines of, "And, you know, it'd be fun if I could fill the space I'll have with a tall, wonderful guy! We'll see what happens..." Lo and behold, not even a month into my summer, I started dating this really incredible guy. And he's totally tall! Way to hit your cue, Travis. He is a super duper fun person to spend my extra time with.  And he makes me smile.  A lot.  =D

My closet is still a hot mess. Turns out that no matter how much extra time I have to do chores, I am still horrible at doing laundry efficiently. I don't know what my deal is. I keep trying to figure out a new system that will save me from drowning in a pile of clothes, but so far, just shutting the closet door is the only thing that's working.  I think I'm okay with this, but if you hear me complaining about not having any money to go shopping for new clothes, just tell me to go do laundry.  I'm sure I'll find something great that I completely forgot I own, and I won't have to spend a dime!

Just a little note…

I love hand written notes. Words of affirmation are my number one love language, and I love paper. So, a handwritten note just makes me happy. =o)

I ran across this note that my parents wrote to me FOREVER ago. I think I was in 1st or 2nd grade, and they left it on my desk after going to Back to School Night:

Hi Laura,
Daddy loves you. I * am proud that you read and like school. Keep studying hard and be kind to everyone.
*Here he switches to block printing. I can imagine my mom leaning over and saying, "Larry, she can't read cursive yet."

Dear Laura,
It's fun to sit at your desk and write with your chocolate pencil**. I love you and I am very proud of you.
**Yep, a chocolate pencil. Scatch and sniff. Totally my favorite.
And even though they wrote that note a long time ago, it still encourages me every time I see it.

On the last day of school last week, I received a note from one of my students that I think will become a life-long encouragement. It really speaks for itself:

Dearest Miss HasBrouck, (dearest- so sweet!)
Here's a hand when you need one. It's not much, but it's my hand...
It left me speechless when I read it the first time. So lovely! One of my friends pointed out that these kind words will be exactly what my sweet student suggested- a helping hand when I need some encouragement. I'm thinking of framing it and hanging it up so I can see it often.
So, let's all grab a pen and some paper, and write someone a simple little note. But first, I wouldn't want you to leave today without your own little bit of encouragement:
Dear Blog Reader,
Thanks for stopping by! God loves you greatly, and he wants to bless you. His grace is abundant. I hope you see something today that makes you smile.

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