Library conferences are cool–no matter what you hear

I love library conferences. I know you are picturing a bunch of old ladies in sweaters and although the sweater-wearing old ladies do have a presence, it is a lot cooler than you may think. There are good friends, good food, free stuff, contests and famous people. Sounds great, right?

Being a librarian is a tough job. There are lots of easy things about it (I’m not going to lie) but one of the hardest things about it is that you are the only one in your school who understands all that you do. I am very lucky to have great librarians in my school district but I’m the only one who deals with libraries and middle schools in my district. That’s one of the great things about library conference. I have friends there that I only see once or twice a year. They get it. They understand what my life is like every day at work. They make me thankful for the district I am in when they tell me horror stories of what goes on in their schools and they give me great ideas on how they have successfully solved the problems that perplex me. I love seeing old friends and meeting new friends every year.

When I go to library conference, I get to be a grownup. I get to eat meals without wrestling any little boys or making sure no one at my table screams. The food is usually good and its at least something different than what I usually have at home.

Free stuff! Vendors come to the library conference and yes, I understand they just want to call next week and try to sell me something but it’s so enticing. They have bowls of chocolate and they give away prizes. I’ll sign up for anything if I have a chance go win something…

Every year I buy raffles tickets for Dollars for Scholars. This is a great variety of baskets that I could win. All I have to do is buy tickets and get my name drawn. In 11 years, I have never won and I didn’t win this year but I won’t give up.

Famous people!! Okay so maybe you have never heard of the people that I get to meet but to me they are famous and I get excited about it. In the past I have got to meet Susan Beth Pfeffer, Heather Brewer, and Mary Downing Hahn, just to name a few.

This year I have met some famous people. Pete Thomas, from Biggest Loser, was one of our keynote speakers. Picture this, I had spend Sunday morning getting motivated by Pete on eating healthy. After that session, I had limited time to get several things done because of my committee obligations. I had a few minutes between appointments to grab something quick to eat. Just as I ran to the pizza place to grab something quick, guess who I ran into? Pete! He was on the phone (not eating pizza) but how can you go order a greasy piece of pizza after seeing him? then at dinner, I was very hungry (having not much for lunch) and guess who was right in my line of vision…you guessed it, Pete. Thankfully Pete has left the conference and I enjoyed a piece of Ultimatea Chocolate Cake at lunch.

Last night I got to hang out with Stacy DeKeyser, author of Jumping the Cracks. Our committee sat with her and visited for quite awhile. She’s a pretty great lady! In a few minutes, I get to escort her to an autograph session and hang out with her. I’ll tell my students on Wednesday that she is my friend.

I also got to hear one of my favorite reading advocates speak, Steven Layne. He was very inspiring.

Yesterday the video that my students star in was debuted in the workshop I helped present. It was the most nerve-wracking and exhilarating experience all at once. I am so proud of my kids and I can’t wait to show them the video later this week.

Lots of great things happen at MASL. I miss my lovely family but I get rejuvenated in a way that is greatly needed.

20120423-150052.jpg

Burn it out

Much to my enjoyment, I am in the middle of a Beth Moore Bible study with a wonderful group of ladies.  There is not much that beats sitting around learning about God with a multi-generational group of ladies.  I love to learn from women who are older than me.  They have been through it and made it out alive!  I love to make friendships that go beyond the bible studies and I love to learn about the bible and all the things God has for us to learn.

Last night, during the video, Beth Moore said something like this (paraphrased)…”God wants to burn the fake right out of us.  He wants us to be geniune.”

This has stuck with me ever since I heard her say that.  I’m a pretty real person.  If I am feeling an emotion, you can probably read it right on my face.  Actually, the ability for other people to be fake really astonishes me.  I can’t tell you the number of times people have burned me because I believed what they said or how they acted when in all seriousness they were just pretending.

Why do so many people hide their real emotions?  Why do we all pretend everything is fine?  Why can’t we confide in one another and learn from others struggles?

I have found this to be true so many times, especially while having young kids.  Why do so many moms of little ones act like everything is alright when in all reality, they have fought to get their little one to bed for two hours the night before, or they combed lice out of their daughter’s hair?  Why can’t we use our experiences to help one another instead of putting on a perfect face like our house is Leave it to Beaver’s houes?

I just don’t get it.  I care.  I want to share previous experiences I have had with others who are going through it.  I want others to tell me how they survived what I’m dealing with.  Even with this blog, I will write about one of the many escapades that my children are currently involved in and I will see people in Walmart who will tell me they know exactly what I’m going through.  Let’s help each other.

(Maybe it’s the librarian in me)  I just want to pool our resources and not reinvent the wheel.  Anybody ready to be real with me?

Parker Says…

Paige’s idea of bad words are “stupid” , “idiot” and “butt”.  I do not think she knows an actual cuss word.

Parker was running through the house the last few days saying “holy hell”.  I thought that’s what he was saying but tonight I actually confronted him about it.  I have never used that phrase in my life.

To recap:  My 6 year old wouldn’t be able to tell you a real curse word if you paid her and she spends almost 8 hours a day in public school.  My two year old is picking up curse words who knows where and they are real curse words…Awesome!

Living the dream!

Making Life Easier

Today is a good day.  The first thing that made it a good day was the fact that I had dinner waiting in the crockpot when I got home.  That always makes your day better.  And the icing on the cake is that the contents of the crockpot will help make many meals to come easier as well.

I wait until the fryer chickens go on sale at the grocery store, I mean really on sale, and then I buy several of them and stick them in the freezer.  As I need them, I take the chicken out of the freezer and let it defrost.  Then, I stick it in the crock pot.  This is so easy!  I put it in the crockpot with a little water and whatever seasonings I feel like that day.  I cook it on low for 8 hours.

When I get home, I have this scrumptious chicken just waiting for me at home.  Pull together some kind of potato or rice along with a vegetable and some sort of bread and we have quite the meal in front of us.

After our meal, I take the rest of the chicken and shred it up.  I put it in Ziploc bags and put it in the freezer.  The next time I want to make chicken enchiladas or anything that takes shredded chicken, I have chicken ready to go.  It is such a time saver!

Now, the next time the fryers are on sale, take a couple but please leave me some!  Enjoy!

Things That Bug Me

My friend, Casey, wrote a blog about things that bug her. You can read it here. I have been thinking about that blog and along with the grumpy moon I’m in today, I decided to make my own list.

  • That fact that it’s hard to reason with a 2 year old
  • People who are inconsiderate and mean (on purpose)
  • I can no longer go to sleep without the TV on even though it drives me crazy
  • I found a tick on my ear this morning and the only time I had been outside today is to walk from my car into my school.
  • I’m not a morning person. I struggle to wake up every morning, no matter how early I go to bed. I wish I were a morning person.
  • My husband can have a 20 minute phone conversation. When I ask him what that was about, he always says, “nothing”.
  • Middle school boys with hair in their eyes and pants pulled down low
  • People who are not aware of what is going on and don’t care
  • I love to be outside but my allergies go crazy every time I try to work outside
  • A lot of things about Facebook but too many to mention and not make people mad
  • The fact that my DVR is still not working correctly and I don’t know when it is going to be fixed
  • My children’s picky eating habits

I could go on and on but I think you get the point. What bugs you?

It was the best (and worst) of times…

Last night I had an appointment in Joplin.  It always amazes me every time I am there how fast everything is coming back.  Every time I drive down Rangeline there are new businesses re-opening and more houses in the horizon.  Last night I noticed a new Payless Shoe Store, a new Wendy’s and an almost finished Sonic just since my last visit.

I finished my appointment a little earlier than I planned so I decided to take the long way out of town and I began to drive.  As I drove, I was suddenly flooded with memories of my college days when I considered Joplin home.  I drove past a couple of old places of employment, a couple restaurants my friends and I liked to frequent, the locksmith that helped me many times when I locked my keys in my Chevette, and many other places that hold special memories for me.

The funny thing about those memories is that a lot of them are good memories, but a lot of them are not good memories.  I made some great lifelong friends while I lived in Joplin, who I wish I talked to more now, but I also was struggling to figure out who I was and what kind of adult I would become.  That is not a fun time in life.  It’s full of disappointments, heartbreak, confusion along with every other emotion you can imagine.  I was focused on things that were superficial and didn’t really matter and probably missed a lot of blessings along the way.

As I continued my drive and the memories just kept flooding my mind, it hit me.  It has been 13 years since I packed my last box and headed north.  Somewhere along the way I was able to see the good times and bad times for the lessons that they were.  Even if things didn’t always go the way that I thought they should, they lead me on the path to today.  Even when Parker is throwing hysterical fits or Paige has changed into her 14th outfit of the day with the other 13 trashing her room, even when I have a bad day at work or my kitchen never seems to stay clean longer than 5 minutes, I wouldn’t change today for anything.

I am a very blessed girl.  It proves that God watches out for us even when we think we know what we are doing.  It proves that He does have a plan for our life.  It proves that everything isn’t sunshine and daisies but I know how the story ends.

I don’t want to change a thing.

Parker Says

Here is Parker’s bedtime prayer tonight…

Dear God,

Thank you for Grandpa, candy and my toys.

Please help probably Grandma.

In Jesus Name,

Amen.

**I assist in the “thank you for” and “please help”.  The rest comes from Parker’s head**