Friday, 31 December 2010

Goodbye 2010

What a year it's been! I will forever savor the sweet and remember the bitter. Writing this post has made me so glad that I blog!!

  • My dad passed away. 2009 was our last Christmas with him, and we miss him so much. I never thought my mother would be a widow at such a young age. I never imagined life without my dad. There's always a hole. I'm grateful for the great life he lived. I loved the obituary my mom wrote. I think it's the best one I've ever seen.

  • We watched lots and lots and lots of swimming. So glad Jill has something she is so passionate about. In the fall Peirce decided he didn't want to swim, then decided he wanted to (swimming is much better than sitting around the pool waiting for your sister to finish swimming.....but alas, the program was full!). I'm happy to say in 2011 he's going back to swimming! Jill also started early morning practises. Yawn!

  • My little girl has changed into a beautiful young lady. I`m amazed at how much she has grown up this past year. Something magic happened when she turned 12. Hardly a week goes by where someone doesn't come up to me and say, "What is going on with Jill? She's so grown up all of a sudden!"

  • We found out we were expecting, and then again experienced the heart ache of loss. I still feel like our family is incomplete. I'm not sure if that is because we will have someone else join our family, or if I will always feel the sadness of pregnancy loss. I still don't know. All I know is it has forever changed me.

  • Peirce turned 8 and got baptized!! He's such a great little boy. He adds a zest to our family that we all appreciate.

  • I decided I'd had enough of the world of Scheduling and have slowly returned to the world of teaching. It has been wonderful! I slowly cut back in the fall, until in December when I was cut loose. So excited about the change! I even made a new label in my blog called "Adventures in Teaching" so I could record some of the great experiences and learning moments. It was a lot of work, but all meant to be, I think. So happy to be back in the world of teaching! I still plan to do mystery shopping though. I love having money in my PayPal account!

  • We spent most of the year as a one car family. There were some benefits to that - it sure makes you scale back and simplify life...which isn't always a bad thing. I sure was happy when in September we got a second vehicle again.

  • I love my husband more and more every year. One of my goals in 2011 is to go on a date every week with him. Can't wait!

  • I read some great books, but not as much as I would have liked to. Life got a little busy in the transition from scheduling to teaching, but I survived. I also worked on our food storage, and enjoyed serving in Primary. What a great experience that has been!

  • Allen spent the whole year in our ward! He got released from High Council and called into the Bishopric. It's been a real learning curve, and we're proud of him and all he does for the ward. I realized that I didn't even blog about this this year though. Weird!

Wow! Life is good! It is a great experience to go back and look at the year and all that has happened. It has made me want to be a better blogger!! There are lots of things I missed blogging about. Here's to blogging in 2011!

Courage? Or Submitting My Will? Or Both?!

I've been thinking a lot lately about how grateful I am to be able to start a new teaching job in January. When I was interviewed for the position they asked me to tell them about myself. I told them how I had taught 12 years ago, and loved it, then stayed home with my children, and now that they're older, decided to go back to teaching. She said to me, "That was really brave." I was kind of taken back and didn't know what she meant and so I asked her. She said it was brave to try to come back after so many years away.

I've thought a lot about that little comment, and wonder about it. I didn't really think I was doing anything brave at all - I was really just following my heart.

Truthfully, how everything all fell together must have been destiny. When I called them to see if I could apply to sub they initially said their sub list was closed. I expressed my disappointment and told the lady how I really loved the Charter School concept and had taught at one previously. That changed the conversation. She took my resume and I started subbing right away.

Then I was content to sub. I watched all the postings and didn't apply for any and then later regretted that. Then in June I got a call to ASK if I'd be willing to take on a contract. When does that happen??

I have so many connections to this school, it's simply amazing - and it goes way back. I have actually planned for years that I would check it out one day and hoped to teach there. I am stunned how it all has fallen into place.

Maybe I shouldn't be too surprised though. Maybe that's just how life works! I'm not really sure it was courage. I tend to think it was moreso being willing to submit to what God wanted me to do, and grab opportunities when they show up. The one thing I know for sure is I am just plain grateful!

.....and Oprah seems to agree:

It's Decided!

All through Christmas break school has been on my mind. I'm so excited to start as a Grade 2 teacher on Jan 4! One of the big questions I have had is what book we will read aloud first! This class is a totally different group than the Grade 4 class I was teaching. I thought about starting off with The Breadwinner again. While I think they'd love that book, I don't know if I'm really up for reading it out loud again. After all, since I'm picking the book I should be able to pick something I'll really enjoy as well, right?!

The other day Allen announced that he found out they're making a movie of The Invention of Hugo Cabaret. I was happy to hear that! We have all read that book a few times in our house. Well, sort of happy. I kind of don't like it when there's a great book turned into a movie because so many people skip the book and just watch the movie, and usually the movie isn't as good as the book, so we hear lots of 'it was okay' comments. The great news is it is going to be in 3D! YEA!

I think this one is a great book! So I decided I will help the kids in my class not miss how great it is, and that is what we will read aloud first. So looking forward to it!!

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Home Sweet Home

This week I've had some time to do some well-needed housecleaning - and it has felt so good!! I have decided that I will go back to living the FlyLady way because otherwise I'll just spend all day cleaning and organizing. I haven't quite decided if it's because I like cleaning, or simply because I love the results. All I know is the past year or so it seems like I haven't had time to do enough of that and so now it's time to catch up. I'm officially no longer working as a Scheduler (aka as a time-sucking 24 hour work from home affair), and I'm no longer the treasurer for the swim club (another huge time-sucker!)...and what a difference it makes in my day! I feel so at peace it is just astounding....and I'm loving have a little more time to do more things to make life just a little better - like getting our house back to being more like a home. The past few months I didn't even want to have people over...but that's all changing now!

I thought about taking some before and after pictures - but that would just be embarrassing. The other day I spent my 15 minutes of zone work cleaning up our computer rid of all the old papers and unorganized piles of stuff...and it's such a lovely place to work now! And the beauty is it really only took 15 minutes. Every time I walk past it I want to pause and admire it again.

We made this space years ago. I was working from home and babysat one little boy in the afternoons - which was great. Only one day the repercussions of being too focused on scheduling, and having my desk set up in the far corner of the house, resulted in them cutting each other's hair.....oh what a sat day that was! So we decided we should change where I worked and we set up this desk in our front closet! It worked wonderfully and I had long since moved to working on a laptop - but we still kept the desk because it was so great to have a central place like that for the computer....and when we have people over we want to we just close the door and poof! It's gone.

...and today it's all organized and clean. Love it!!

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Together Forever

Last night Allen and I went to a party with a bunch of other couples. We played Bunko. It was a lot of fun - the funny thing though was that at the end of the night Allen and I had both had six wins, six losses and five bunkos. We had laughed about how we don't like to play games together but we did end up as partners and as opponents a couple of times, but after having a score that was identical we decided it must be a sign that we're really meant to be together!

I sure do love you Allen and I appreciate the fun we have together - no matter what we're doing! Marriage can be a gamble, and I lucked out! It seems like whatever we do together we are able to laugh and always have a good time. I love that!

Friday, 24 December 2010

Dear Santa Claus,

I want to thank you for delivering all the presents around the world. Thank you for being so cheerful. I watched a movie called Stalking Santa. Now I know for sure you are real. For Christmas all I want is a DSIXL and one of those chocolate mint oranges. And last of all I want to get along better with my sister and for my friends to think nice of me.


P.S. If you want to give me more things I'm also interested in a hermit crab, gold forero roches, a nerf gun, especially a light pen, a bee bee gun, a metal slinky, smarties, and 100 funny shaped elastics.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Moving On....I'm free!!!

For the past 12 years I have worked from home as a Scheduler. It's had its ups and downs, but all in all I've been really grateful for the experience. However, the time has come. I'm moving on!! I am no longer doing any scheduling, and I'm so excited!!

I sometimes read a blog that is written by a principal. He just posted one called Post Semester Stress Disorder. It's pretty funny. You can click here to read that one. He says: "And as I repeatedly tell myself, working at school beats a real job.
Even with the stress."

He's so right. So right!! I'm so glad to be a teacher!

A friend of mine posted a video today of a bunch of high school teachers at a Christmas assembly. This just makes me smile. It's so darn fun to be a teacher.

Christmas Miracles

It's the little things around here that make me smile. The Christmas anticipation around here is palpable.

P: JILL! I broke on of your crayons.
J: That's okay. Please just try to be more careful. Thanks for being honest.
P: You're welcome. I'm trying to be really good for Christmas so I don't get coal. I think I'm doing much better.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

I Really Should Stop Manipulating My Children

Me: Peirce, I heard you and dad bought me a present yesterday. What'd you buy?

Peirce: Want me to tell you?!

Me: No! (acting alarmed and horrified)
Peirce: Well, I'll give you a hint
Me: Perfect!

....we go through a series of hints and I soon figure out what the present is

*look of horror in Peirce's face*


Peirce: Well, mom, I'll give you until the end of the day and if you don't figure it out I'm not telling you.

LOL Nice try Peirce!! :0)

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

I'm a Rock Star

Tonight I took Jill and Peirce to watch the Christmas concert my old school was putting on. It was so fun to watch it. The class I taught the first 3 months of the year is mostly boys. Watching them up there sing Christmas songs was hilarious. They love standing up in front of a crowd and singing songs! NOT!! LOL It was sure fun to watch them though.

It's so fun to go to things like that. I felt like a rock star. So many people say, "Mrs. Ackroyd!! Hi!!" and even some of those tough boys in my class came up and hugged me. It was so fun. Peirce said to me, "Mom, I think the kids in this school really must have liked you!" A bit of an eye-opener for my darling children who think their mom is the ultimate in not cool.

One of the boys from my class was Scrooge (they did A Christmas Carol) and he did such a gret job. At the end of it, during the bows I felt like my heart would burst! I was so proud of them brought tears to my eyes. I'm kind of weird that way. I often come close to tears during the bows of a performance - but when it's kids I know and love, it comes quite quickly!

God is Good

What a difference a week can make.

Last week at this time I was a little depressed. I had applied for two different teaching positions but hadn't heard a thing back. I figured they had to have hired someone already because who would leave it until the last week of school? And what a bummer that I didn't even get an interview.

Then on Saturday I spent some time exercising and studying and decided I wasn't going to be depressed about it because I know God loves me and everything would work out for the best - even if it meant I just continued subbing. My scheduling manager emailed me and asked if I'd like some more projects in January and I told her I would and I decided maybe that is what was meant to be.

I was scheduled to sub on Monday, but on Sunday my spidey senses started tingling. I couldn't find the note written down in my planner showing when I was asked to sub that day. It's funny I'd even question it because I never have before. I decided to email the vice principal anyway and found out my gut was right....I really wasn't needed that day. I was looking forward to the day off when I got another email from the vice-principal of one of the school's I had applied to and she wanted me to come in for an interview on Monday!! I was so glad I had found out I wasn't needed for subbing. If I had put off the interview and then found out I really didn't have to sub it would have been a big drag!! As it was I went in on Monday for the interview. Tuesday I subbed at that school. The teacher who is going on maternity leave was doing a demonstration of a teaching technique for some teachers and I was invited to go in and watch her. As I watched her teach (she is really amazing!) I was seriously humbled and wondered if I'd ever get that good! I went home a little discouraged again.

BUT!! That night, around 8 pm, the vice principal called me. She and the principal are real poker-faces (well, not always, but they sure were in the interview, and she was again on this phone call). She asked if I was subbing the next day and I said I was subbing at another school. She hmmmmm'd and then said, "Well, the real reason for my call is we would like to offer you a position here at our school." I tried to act cool and simply grateful, but the truth is, I could hardly contain myself. I am sure I caused her to smirk a little....I was a tad excited! She ended up working something out with the school I was to sub at the next day and then I spent today shadowing the teacher that I'll be replacing. I'm so thrilled with this opportunity!!

.....oh, and to continue, today I also I got a call from the other school where I had applied. They said they short listed me for their position and asked if I'd come in for an interview. I explained that I had actually just accepted a position and thanked them for short-listing me. Then I said a little prayer of thanks to Heavenly Father for helping me to feel like I'm not a loser! :0)

I'm so excited about this new position. It's a grade two class, and they're a wonderful group. Also, the school is right across the street from Peirce's school! He will be able to walk across the street to my class and not go home on the bus if he doesn't want to. It will be wonderful to be working so close to where he is. We decided we will look for each other on days I'm on supervision and wave to each other. LOL

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Hardly a Sacrifice!

So, I've decided there are two things I need to do every morning: exercise and study. I am too hit and miss with these things lately. Part of the problem is I plan to do it later in the day, but the day gets busy and late and then I don't get it done. I decided today is the day! I was the driver for the car pool to swim practise today. I decided I wouldn't even go into the pool - instead I'd go for a walk first, and then go inside and find a quiet table somewhere to read my scriptures, and study. What a wonderful morning!! This was where I walked. It was funny that this morning I was thinking about how I need to make this sacrifice to do these things each day, and as I walked along the river I was so struck with how beautiful everything was. that I had to take a quick snapshot with my cell phone camera. The walk wasn't a sacrifice at all!! I hope I can remember that on those early weekday mornings!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Women Food and God

I saw Oprah talk about Women Food and God and decided I should read it. I quite enjoyed it. I have to admit I'm a sucker for programs for women....goals programs, reading programs, and yes, eating programs. I got this book from the library but I think it's one I need to buy!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Freecycle Rocks!

I love freecycle!

Recently I noticed a boy at school who wasn't wearing a winter jacket. I asked him about it and he said he didn't have one - so usually he wore two hoodies. I figured at first he might be trying to be one of those cool kids and simply not wear something warm enough and when it got really cold he would....but even in our deep freeze weather he still only wore two hoodies. This weekend I posted a message on Freecycle explaining the sitution and asked if anyone had an extra winter jacket around. I couldn't believe the offers that came pouring in. Not only did people offer jackets, but snowpants, mitts, boots, and hats. I even had some offers of money to go buy him a new one. Today I went and picked up a jacket from one of the responses and I think it will be perfect for him. I'm so excited to give it to him tomorrow!