Friday, June 10, 2011

Whoop Whoop Holla Holla The Mats are in the House

Cheer camp...ahhh the joy! Of all my responsibilities as cheer sponsor, camp is one I usually look forward to the least. My idea of a fun time is not spending three or four days away from the comforts of my own home supervising anywhere from 15-20 teenage girls every night. It usually looks something like this....

Me during the day- Be nice. Lose the attitude. Work hard. Stay positive. Repeat in some form about 1000 times during the day.

Me during the evenings- Go to bed. Lights off. Quit dancing/texting/screaming/singing/etc. Repeat about 2000 times.

This year was different. We decided to attend private camp at a local gym here in Lubbock. The best part of this camp is it was only during the DAY! Can I get an amen?!?! It was 10,000 times better than any previous camp experience I have had and not just for the selfish reasons I listed above. Since most of our girls are newbies to cheer with relatively little formal training in any type of cheer or dance, they received much more individual attention than they would have had at a larger camp. I am really proud of their efforts, attitude, and focus during these three days. I have a feeling we are going to do some great things this coming year.

To cap off a week of hard work, we celebrated with a day of fun in the sun yesterday at Water Rampage, the mini version of Wet n Wild in Lubbock. I found myself somehow cajoled into attending this fiesta but I really had a good time. 14 of the 20 girls actually showed up and we spent the day playing at the park. I even did the water slide once with them since one of the girls would not go down until I told her if I did it she had to! All in all, it was six hours of team building and fun so I think it was a good time had by all.

I am off to my ten year reunion this weekend. I feel old just typing that. I think I may become one of those people who stops aging after 29. Don't get me wrong. I WILL have a birthday celebration every year but I will just never age. I am going to have to really invest in some good wrinkle cream to keep this charade up.
(Runs off to research wrinkle creams.....)

Have a great weekend!!! XOXO,

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Waiting for Superman...a thought or two

Some of you may have seen the documentary Waiting for Superman. If you have not, please go and rent it. I have heard about this documentary several times in the past few months and made a mental note to watch it. Since the hubs is OOT, I was perusing the film que on our on demand section of tv and saw it was now available. I decided to go ahead and rent it tonight since he wasn't around to encourage a choice of the Hangover variety. I didn't expect to find myself tearing up throughout the film but there I was on a Saturday night holding tissues under my eyes as the tears flowed.

A little may not agree with everything in the documentary. Rent it anyway. That is just the way documentaries go. You might agree with parts and disagree with others. However, as a teacher, I think it's worth spending a couple hours of your life to watch this film, for no other reason than to feel inspired. I am definitely the sentimental type so I can find inspiration in anything and a reason to cry in almost anything I watch. But, this film reminds us of the important task we, as teachers, have been given and it reminds us of our responsibility to make sure we continually work to improve the lives of kids.

Here are a few of my thoughts about the documentary...
1. I liked how the filmmaker put faces with statistics. It was not just numbers being spouted off at you. It was stories about real families in real places. Much more powerful.

2. I felt incredibly sad that so many children's hopes rely on a lottery system to get into charter schools in their neighborhoods. All public schools should be of the same excellent caliber that children learn equally and are challenged. Unfortunately, that is not the reality. It really doesn't seem fair that where you leave determines the quality of education you receive.

3. I found it inspiring to see the educators in the film who are working to find better ways to meet the needs of our students. It's motivating to see people who decided not to accept that status quo and who challenged typical ways of doing things in their respective hometowns.

4. I shed many tears because I could connect the stories in the film to many of my own students lives. I saw a lot of shared problems from the students in the film with the ones I see on a daily basis. It made the film more real to me.

More than anything, I liked this film because it reminded me that my job is important and their are people who are willing to dedicate their lives to building a better education system for our future generations. The system may be broken but I have faith we will find a way to fix it. I sincerely hope I will be part of that plan, however small or short lived my contribution may be. I hope to make a mark.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

A fresh start...for the blog that is.

Summer is finally upon me and with it has come a sense to purge everything. My closet was the first victim of this purge. I finally let go of some of those old college tops that I will never wear again. Also on my list of victims is the cheer closet at Estacado. We had uniforms from the late 70s in there! Up next...the closets in the guest rooms of our house and the garage. I figure since I have all this time off I may as well make good use of it. My hubs has been working diligently every night for the past two weeks to finish building our bookshelves for either side of the fireplace so it only makes sense that I contribute by cleaning out the junk so our new home looks good. From all of this, I decided to carry over my purging to the blog. I started out with great ideas about what this blog would accomplish and I wanted very much to have a specific purpose for it. However, life happened and I really did not blog as much as I wanted to and most of the posts are more of updates rather than specific posts. So, I accepted this and decided to make a few changes.

The first change is the removal of my 101 in 1001 list. While well intentioned, a list of 1001 things to do for me was not realistic. I rarely remembered to update the list (even though I could have checked off more things) and it became something I had to do rather than something I enjoyed doing. As I get older, I have really started focusing on only doing things I really want to do so I think a shorter list is in order. It is more realistic and more focused. Here are a few goals I would like to accomplish:

1. Continue to grow in my spiritual life. For me, this means reading my Bible cover to cover and praying more frequently. I already attend church on a fairly regular basis here in Lubbock.

2. Take measures to make us financially secure. I am in the process of reading Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover at the suggestion of a friend who had success with it and I must say I am very excited about it.

3. Continue to nurture my relationships with my family and close friends. Growing up and living apart is much harder than people realize and it's important to continue to make the effort to keep these relationships intact. Family is very important to me and I am very blessed to have a strong group of girlfriends from college who support me and keep my spirits lifted.

4. Stay physically fit. I know I will never have my college body back but that does not mean I cannot be healthy and fit. Gone are the days of being able to eat queso and not pay the price. However, I am learning to enjoy eating better.

5. Seek out learning opportunities, whatever they may be. I love to learn new things, whether they be related to teaching, baking and cooking, gardening, managing money, exercising, etc. I hope that I will always continue to learn and try new things and cultivate new skills to make myself a more well rounded person.

6. Travel. I want to see as much of the world as I can in this lifetime. C and I will take our first big step toward this goal together this summer as we head off to Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre, Munich, Amsterdam, and London. We also still have plans to make it to Japan to see Adam and Shelley but the earthquake/tsunami postponed them a bit. Colton and I did make a bucket list of places to see (which was on my 101 in 1001 list) and we hope to make progress on it each year, be it big or small trips.

7. Cultivate new interests and friendships in my new home of Lubbock, Texas. We have been here for a year and I am finally making new friends. I am excited about the possibilities and want to continue to make a life for myself here.

As for the rest of the blog, I really have not changed much. I added a label tab and rearranged the side bar. The main change I hope to accomplish is to blog more often and to use this blog as a way to update those interested in the happenings of our life here in Lubbock. Sometimes you might see a cooking post or a  travel post (look for those in July with our trip to Europe) or a post with just some daily musings. I hope to use it to share things about my life with others. I have accepted I am not going to have a blog dedicated to one pursuit and therefore I am okay with it being a jumble of thoughts and stories.

May the beginning of June bring you summer fun in the sun!