Thursday, March 28, 2013


I have a student who I will call C.  He has always been a lovable little guy.  My first taste of this was a few weeks into school.  At this time I was only his music teacher as I hadn't yet started teaching Kindergarten.  I was walking down the hall and he shouted out, "I love you Ms. Darci!"

When I took over the class, I heard it it a lot more, than over time he just kind of stopped saying it and I had kind forgotten that he used to do it all the time.

I have set up a system in class that allows me to get through reading tests with my students on an individual basis without interruptions from the students. I basically have given each student a card with their name on it.  They are each given worksheets to do while I conduct reading tests.  If they have a question during this time, they can place their card on my desk.  They know I will get to them when I am finished.  They know to move on in their work and do what they can without me until that time skipping the parts they have questions on until I am ready to help them.

One day C came up to my desk without his card and just stood there while I was administering a reading test to a student.  Our conversation went like this:

Me: "C why aren't you putting your card on my desk?"
C:  "Because I can't find it."
Me:  "I'm sure it's in your desk somewhere.  Go look again, this time really hard."

(C goes and looks and comes back and stands again.  By this time I am done with the reading test)

C:  I still can't find it.
Me:  OK. Let me go help you look. 

(I look and OF COURSE find it within 20 seconds.  Kindergarteners!  Sigh!  Hand him the card and return to my desk.  C follows me to my desk and tosses the card on the desk.  I decide to adddress his question now before I start my next reading assessment)

Me:  OK C, what is your question.
C:  I just love you!

Aw man.  I love that stinker!

A whole gamut of emotions

I posted some time ago that this is the season when districts start hiring for the new school year.  I was so overcome with emotion of excitement at the start of the season I could hardly contain myself.  I only found one opening which I spoke of briefly about in a past post.  I have had one interview with that district. It was a phone interview.  It was the type of interview they call screeners.  I feel I did OK.  Could have done better, could have done worse.  To my credit, it was a phone interview, and I knew it was being recorded which made me extra nervous. I feel I interview person.  I do better when I can see a person's face to help me know where to take my answers.  Anyhoo...I was told they would try to fill the position by the end of February.  I was never called back.  I went from being totally optimistic and ecstatic about the opportunity to totally bummed that I never got called back.   

This led to emotions of acceptance and trying to see the positives in NOT getting that job.  However, I am still holding out some hope that I will get a call for a second interview as the job has not yet been removed from the website.  I am fairly confident that it hasn't been filled because I check the website daily and noticed new postings to the site leading me to be that the information on it is still current and accurate.  I found it odd that the district office lady who conducted my interview said they usually try to fill positions by February.  Seemed awfully early to me.  I'm hoping, guessing, and praying that second round interviews will be conducted this April, closer to the end of the school year; this seems more in line with what most school districts I am familiar with do.  Second interviews are conducted by the building admin.

So I went from totally ecstatic, to disappointed, to acceptant and content, to somewhat hopeful again, to what I am now...totally ecstatic again.  A new job opening was posted.  This opening is in another wonderful district about 30 minutes from us.  I have already filled out my online app and sent all my other necessary materials to apply for the job.  The job is actually a better fit for me than the other job.  It has only been posted for one week, and now I am so excited about it that I have talked myself into doing a super forward thing and driving down there, introducing myself, and handing a packet of the same info I sent to district office directly to the principal of the building where the opening is at.  I'm hoping making the extra effort and showing such direct interest may set me apart a little from the other candidates because let's face it, I have no idea who my competition is.

Lots of prayers have been going up regarding all of this.  I have also gone through a whole gamut of emotions in that department.  Part of me feels guilty for wanting another job when part of my rational is for an increase in pay.  Part of my guilt also stems from the fact that he has already given me a job I enjoy, is it OK to want more?  Part of my guilt resides in knowing I am making a big impact for him where I am, what if he doesn't desire for me to change?   My Lord has taken such wonderful care of our family through Jeff's job.  We have never been without.  We can't necessarily get ahead, but we have never been without and for that I am totally grateful.  I want to pray within God's will.  So I had to go through a lot of soul searching to make sure I am asking for this change for the right reasons.  Here's what I came up with:

1.  I have spent thousands of dollars and thosands of hours to train myself to be a professional in this field, I would like to be compensated accordingly
2.  I feel at home and most in my element when I am teaching music
3.  I get most excited about teaching music
4.  I want to be around other trained professional music teachers who I can learn from and share with
5.  I want to be in the same district as my children
6.  I want benefits to better care for myself and my family (currently I am on an individual plan)
7.  I can still honor and serve God in a public school setting, albeit it will be a little more tricky as I won't be able to do it as openly as I do in a private Christian school, but it still totally possible
8.  A new job with pay that is more in line with what I used to get, would enable our family to start working on debt in a more reasonable manner, paying off debt is honorable in God's eyes
10. I want to be in a job where I make enough to splurge on going to national and state conferences that will help me become better at my craft
11. I want to be in a school that can afford the resources I need to teach my subject to it's fullest potential

When I think about it, really think about it in this way, I hope God can honor my requests for change.   I don't ever want him to feel unappreciated for what I have been given.  He has been so faithful to me.  So for now I hold tight to this verse and pray that he will give me patience to wait on his timing which may not be this year.

"Be anxious for nothing, but by prayer and supplication, with Thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God, which surpasses all understanding, and the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ."  (Philippians 4:6-7)

I pray for acceptance for his will in my life whether it be a new job this year, in years to come, or not at all.  It's a hard thing to do, but it is the only thing I know is right.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Spring Break Day Four

Day four we got up at our leisure, ate breakfast, visited a little, and then packed to go home.  We headed for Little Rock, Arkansas where we planned to stop for lunch, a movie (Oz), and a little shopping.

Thanks for the memories!
We're best of buds now!
Goodbye house!
All geared up to watch the 3D movie Oz!
On the last leg of our journey we saw some street racers make dangerous moves.  Where's a cop when you need one?
Oh wait!  There's one.  YESSSSSS!  This literally made our day, so we had to take a picture as we watched two of the three racers get pulled over.  Arkansas taxpayer's money being put to good use folks!

  Now we're back, getting caught up on laundry, wearing our green for St. Patty's day, and reflecting on all the fun we had.

Green milk just for fun!
Cool Mom.  Thanks!

Spring Break Day Three (B)

After our long hike, we had lunch and then stopped by the beach to let the kiddos wet their toes and play in the sand.  They had a ball and spent at least 2 plus hours playing in the sand.  We had the entire beach to ourselves most of the time.  It was too cold to go swimming.  

This ought to make the perfect platform for a sand castle.

Do it just like so.
Three amigos.
Which gives the rest of us time to chat.
And relax.
And then nap....she now is in the sand at the right of the pic. :)

Meanwhile, kids were reveling that they could actually get dirty

Dad even had fun in the sand.

And he spent some time with me on a porch swing watching the kiddies play.

Ending the day with drum roll......more smores!
Out of order here, but thought this was funny.  Two dads snapping photos of their littles.

Spring Break Day Three (A)

Day three we headed for a trail.  It was close to 4 miles.  The weather was perfect, and overall everyone did great.  The terrain was a little rugged, but we managed.  The moms had to be pack mules for awhile with the littles, but we both were happy to help out because we both wanted to burn off all those extra calories we had been consuming each night at supper.  The views were good in some spots and depressing in others.  There is A LOT of destruction in the forests EVERYWHERE.  I'm not sure if it is due to drought, forest fires, or some forest rehab project, but it was sad to me.

Love the butt crack! For the record, my butt pockets were stuffed with a camera and phone, so the booty looks a little bigger than normal ;)

Lookout point and half way point too.  Are we sweating yet?

Funny turtle perched on a log randomly sitting in middle of lake.

Some of the views were pretty.
A lot were not.  So sad!
Of course, my sunglasses kept sliding down my nose when my hands were tied up behind my back.

Still a little young to do a rugged trail without a parent's hand.

So proud of my littles for doing a good job!

Spring Break Day Two

Day two we took an hour and a half drive to a diamond mine.  Supposedly, many people had found real diamonds in the soil out there.  There were over a hundred and fifty found last year.  It wasn't exactly what we were expecting, but now we can say we hunted for diamonds even if it was outside in a dirt field and not in a cave.  The kids liked it for a short while, then just decided to play around.
Every day we packed a lunch.  Didn't seem so bad splurging on a house when we didn't have to pay to go out and eat.  Cooked at home each night too.
Learning about diamond hunting.
Here it is folks!  Your diamonds await you.  Yeah, right!
They only worked like this for a microsecond.
Amanda and David.  I think Amanda enjoyed this the most out of all of us.
An old mine.

Just what they needed after a long day of diamond hunting and a big highlight of their trip.

Each night always ended with smores.

Spring Break 2013 Day One

This year we asked another couple to join us for Spring Break in Lake Ouachita, Arkansas.  They were good friends of ours from college, and they also have two children around our children's ages.  We wanted to go camping, but because the weather was super iffy we decided to rent a house instead.  This way we knew that if the weather turned out bad, we were covered.  I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking. 

Our house was beautiful and very reasonably priced!

Plenty of room for 2 families!

We had to flip a coin for the master bath and bedroom because it was so awesome!

Kitchen had plenty of storage for our food and was well equipped.

Fire pit, hot tub, and a great view off the back decks.

There was even a super cool slide off the top deck!

The kids loved the bunk bed.

The kids hit it off right away.

Bren didn't want to do anything without little Derek.  Smores each night were a MUST!

Monday, March 11, 2013


When it comes to potty training, Bren was my ultimate hard case.  K trained in two weeks with number ones and in a couple months with number twos.  She was completely self sufficient with the bathroom including wiping by age 4.  Bren took well over a year and we are still learning how to wipe twos.  Today we still struggle with what I call drip and crumble accidents.  These are the accidents that happen because she is too busy playing and tries to ignore the urges to go.  When I ask her to go to the bathroom I will often hear this response,

"But I went yesterday, " or "I don't have to go today."

Last night was the ultimate corker response.

Me:  Did you get one out?
Bren:  Yes.
Me: Do you have some more?
Bren:  Yes, but I will save it for tomorrow.

Geeze!  Will I ever get this girl fully trained?  I'm tired of wiping butts and having a shortage of panties because of constant drip and crumble panties.  Sigh!  Two of my not so favorite things to do are train kids how to use the bathroom and brush their teeth.  Maybe she'll get them both by 5? 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Easter Pageant 2013

Last night was our Easter Pageant at school.  Bren did a little 5 minute performance that was a simplified version of the crucifixion with her classmates.  She was an angry towns person who had one very short line.  She had done perfectly in rehearsals, but almost forgot to say her line during the performance and then rushed through it.  Oh well!  You get what you get with preschool.  I organized and directed the music in the entire performance for the little guys and the big guys whose performance was much longer.  It turned out pretty good overall.  About the only hiccups we had involved the sound.  There was a long delay getting our song started.  The gentleman running the sound finally got the speakers running several measures into the song.  I  didn't know this and thought the song was at the beginning.  The beginning of the song had two measures of rest. I  urged the kids not to sing thinking it was the measures of rest, then we realized the song was not at the beginning and had to just dive in the middle and start singing mid verse.  Oh well!

One more more concert to go before the end of the year.  This one I created from scratch.  I created the script and chose songs from here and there to reinforce the message of the performance.  Already excited to see how it will turn out.

Here are a few pics and a the video clip from Bren's performance.
Easiest costume eva! Pillowcase on the head!

I think Kadyn was a little jealous it was Bren's performance.

3 year olds

PK4, Bren is 2nd to right in the back.  Hard to see.

1st-5th graders singing one of their songs

Jeff didn't get to come to the Christmas pageant, so this was his first time to see my classrooms and bulletin boards.

A music bulletin board.  Hard to see, but it says "Souper Composers."  It has composer pictures glued inside the bowls and spoons and napkins on placemats.

I just couldn't take this down from last semester.  It's my favorite and fits any season.

My new Kindergarten Spring bulletin board in the hallway. Found the handprint flower idea on pinterest

Jeff goofing off with my tools to teach pitch movement...aka pipe cleaners
Lastly, Bren got to show off her work on her preschool bulletin board her teacher put together for the class.  They had dino week this week and she LOVED it.  Her dino is made from her handprint.