Frustrations and Blessings

*Warning – Christian Spiritual Post Starting Now!*

There are some days that drain every last bit of energy, caring, and hope from my being (or so it seems). Days in which every student is on a crazy attitude bender, my child is exhibiting both the terrible twos of lore AND the clinginess associated with a sick toddler (third round of antibiotics and 4th of cough medicine for my 2 year old…NO FUN!), and no one seems to feel as though I can make my own decisions about anything.

This past week I have had people, NOT TEACHERS, telling me my lesson plans need to be looked over because I’m doing them incorrectly, people trying to take over my lessons or classroom, and well meaning family members telling me everything that is wrong with my parenting style, my daughter, and even my fashion sense (If they remembered what I used to wear 5 years ago, they would applaud my current style!). I have been stressed out, at the end of my tether, and left with no time to breath, let alone write. In short, I’ve been drowning. Oh the pleasures of being a teacher and single mother during the “Holidays.”

But these are also the days that I look back on and Praise God. Even as near by as 3 years ago, I would have either walked out or been so abrasive to these (hopefully) well meaning yet mostly un-helpful and under-educated or un-informed (at least about my classroom and lessons) people that I would have lost my job, had students removed, and probably lost the ability to be a teacher. My reputation would have been ruined because I was physically and mentally exhausted. However, God and The Monkey have helped me change my outlook drastically and I am more patient and less defensive (at least on the outside) than I was then.

It doesn’t stop there, however. You see, when God changes things and shows you what there is to be grateful for even the seemingly worst days can bring little blessings through your sad and frustrated outlook.

Take Friday for instance. I had teachers trying to give me advice that I cannot understand and which doesn’t really have much bearing on what I’m teaching (I’m Writing and Science and the only tech I have is a Smart Board that was just fixed a few days ago…so telling me about a great Apple TV MATH app is no help at all). I had a sick child and grandparents coming that night and I was NOT in a great mood. With all of the progress monitoring and practices for programs my students are not getting enough time in my class and it is now only one week to break…craziness ensues daily. But I bought a copy of my series for the classroom and my students were so sweetly excited that I couldn’t help but smile. Then a student who has been a big whirlwind of trouble since the beginning of school was withdrawn to move back to his home state. Though excited to see his mother soon, this young man was tearing up at leaving us. He hugged me tight and I gave him the new class copy of Dragon on My Neck, which he proudly showed off to every person he saw on the way out the door. The class will never be the same without him and, though they will be a lot quieter and a bit more on task, I know that he has left his mark on us all. He may have been trouble, but he was a blessing as well.

Then yesterday, on Short Story Sunday, as I was spending a lazy morning not going to church because the rainy weather was messing with both of us, I wrote a little whimsical poem about sheep on the bathroom wall…and within a couple hours I had 4 new followers for the blog. It astounds me how that happens. I am humbled and blessed beyond measure to have this outlet for my writings both short and not so short (like today!)

So even though I know that this week will be INSANE and FRUSTRATING and CRAZY…I also know that it will be full of hidden blessings and chances to realize just how amazing the life God has given me is. For the record, the week after this is reserved for naps and long writing sessions!

Have a not-too-manic Monday and a HAPPY Pre-Holiday Week!photo

Mad Monday

Ok, so I’ve been a little behind the past few days. Or a lot behind…either way you look at it though, I missed Short Story Sunday yesterday. Here is what I meant to post before I forgot. I hope you enjoy it!

 

 

“Ok students, today will be our very first,” pause for effect, “MAD MONDAY!!”

“ooh, are we like, going like, sale shopping?” the nasal, high pitched teen voice grated on her ears. UGH! How in the world did they talk her in to teaching high school kids?

“No, Maureen, we’re going to talk about words like MAD.” Ms. Travers took a deep breath, “They’re called Multiple Meaning Words also known as homophones or homonyms. Does anyone remember their middle school English lessons about these??” She waits a beat, expecting at least the greasy haired, too-much-Axe-wearing, coke bottle glasses, wolverine t-shirted nerd in the corner to answer appropriately, as he usually did, but even Steven (call me The Ice) was silent. “Come on guys – multiple meaning words have what??”

“Umm…” the twins looked as if they were trying to use their telepathy to collectively read the teacher’s book, which Rebecca Travers had left carelessly flipped open on her desk. She didn’t need it for etymology lessons after all.

“Ladies and gentlemen, M.M.W.s have more than one meaning! Like the word, “MAD” which can mean several different things. Sharlot, would you give me a meaning for the word ‘mad’ please?”

“Umm, like, big sales. You know, like, mad mad mad savings?” Sharlot was more concerned with how the bridge of her nose looked in comparison to her new shirt and lipstick combination than she was with the actual question, but she obviously wouldn’t have known anyway.

“What about mad like angry. Like the Hulk gets mad and then BAM the hot guy turns into a big green unstoppable killing force.” The quiet blond girl in the corner, what was her name??? OH,

“Good job Anial,” where do parents come up with these names? *Face Palm!* hastag – craycray “Mad often means that someone is angry, although I believe Bruce Banner is just always raging inside and doesn’t really have to get mad…and before you start goggling and giggling at my obvious nerdy cool status, Yes I love comics and the Avengers, Loki rocks, and we need to move on through the lesson. And Anial, Bruce Banner is awesome but I’m a little concerned with how excited you were about the unstoppable killing force part…”

“I like to feel safe,” The tiny little sprite smiled innocently.

“Ok, moving on…there’s another possible meaning here. Does anyone know what it is?” Rebecca Travers searched the small classroom, thankfully they had only given her the students in need of a little extra English help for their college admits…although some of them really gave her doubts as to their ability to enter college at all. Didn’t they have some sort of force field to keep the morons out? “Morry?”

“Crazy,” Moriarty, Morry for short, looked up as menacingly as he could from under his bright red mop of frizz and tried to growl the word, ending on a squeak, “Mad means that someone is insane.”

“Very nicely done sir,” Ms. Travers smiled, wondering again why in the world his parents would name him after a famous literary villain. “What other words can you think of that have multiple meanings?”

“Fag,” The lone student on the left side of the room suddenly yelled out his answer, causing titters to erupt among the other six, “My grandpa calls his cigarettes fags, but my Uncle calls our neighbors the same thing. I guess they smoke a lot.” He shrugged with a smirk, “You know.”

“Thank you Franklynn,” Rebecca sighed, here comes another migraine. “Anyone else?? ANYONE?”

 

“Ate and eight,” Fredrico March saved the day, his white skin and pale features belying the exotic moniker. “Like, I ate a sandwich for breakfast before coming to school at eight.”

“That’s a homophone, girls and boys! Thank you FredricoMarch,” he insisted his name be run together in such a way. “What else??”

“GAS!” Sharlot chirped proudly, obviously not used to having an answer show up that was handed to her on a silver platter. “Gas like you put in the car OR it can be like, you know,” titter titter, giggle, laughter, “YOU KNOW, like, GAS.”

“Thank you for that.” Rebecca Travers calmly surveyed the quickly dissolving classroom structure as each student tried to gas out their fellows. Picking up her purse and grabbing a clothespin from her desk, the teacher pinned her nose, slung her bag over her shoulder, and walked out. Closing the locked door behind her, Ms. Travers deliberately walked down to the principal’s office and rapped once, sharply, on the door. “I’m ready to go back now Mr. P.”

“Are you sure Becca?” Mr. Princeton, the principal, looked up with his big sad eyes and slightly pointy ears, looking like a jolly mix of dwarf and elf. “This was your chance to change things for the better.”

“I’ve locked my students in the classroom as they try to stink each other out with farts and belches,” Rebecca laid her school keys down, “Please, let me just go back. Maybe change isn’t always a good thing.”

“If you’re sure that you’re ready then,” Mr. P stood and pulled his lab coat from a hidden cabinet hook. “I’ll take you back to your room.”

“Thank you sir.”

“It’s not a problem. We here at Shady Hill know that sometimes people just need a good rest.”

 

Goal Oriented Monday

This is a big week in our house. Not because there’s anything out of the ordinary going on, but because next week is our church’s Singing School. Singing School is a camp like atmosphere in which students spend a week learning to read music, sing parts, lead singing, and throw water balloons with deadly accuracy. (ok, we usually only do water balloons once a week.)

You may be thinking to yourself, “but Beth, why would this effect your house? It sounds like that all happens at church.”

Yes, yes it does…except that the kids don’t stay in pews or bus to cabins. Church members keep the students throughout the week, cook for them morning and night, and drive them back and forth to the building for classes. It’s a fun experience, or it was eight years ago when I helped with my last singing school. Now, almost a decade later, my parents and I are all back in town and signed up to keep girls. When I was in high school and college we kept almost twenty girls, this year I think we signed up for 5. I am excited, I am wary, I am downright mean…oh wait, that’s next week.

This all means that this week has a specific and slightly different set of goals for us here in the castle.

  1. Finally finish the writer’s loft so that there aren’t several boxes and empty shelves cluttering the open space.
  2. Re-organize my sleeping/craft area
  3. Find a good place to leave my notebooks and pens that won’t get a bunch of snot nosed teenagers messing with them (that’s not fair, I don’t know the condition of their noses)
  4. Write during every break so that I don’t lose my questionable mojo
  5. Do stuff, lots of stuff
  6. Do more stuff, like baking
  7. Clean up plant area and all that jazz

That’s right: I’ve got goals, yes I do! I’ve got goals, How ABOUT YOU?!?!?!?!! (Insert Nerdy Hurky here)

 

 

A little Pep in my Goals

Good Monday Morning Friends!! I know that a few of you have already made up your goals for this week and are even now working semi-feverishly to accomplish them. I’m a little slower than that 😉

Whether or not you have set goals, there is something that you want to take care of today, tomorrow, and the rest of the week. Here’s a hint…DO IT! I’ve been looking at this yarn for two days thinking about crocheting an alligator (the final in mother’s students’ special orders for the year). I have until tomorrow to get it done now because I did not fulfill that goal from last week L BUT! I can do it.

That’s the great thing about goals, even if they are unreachable there is some part of it that you CAN finish. For instance, many of my friends and I have the great goal to be published or, since I’m already self-published, to be hugely popular and sell a million copies. To do that, I have to write and edit and re-write and re-edit, etc. It may be a long road, but if you love what you do then the time flies by.

So, in the interest of accountability and, hopefully, inspiration…

Here are my GOALS for the week of May 19th – May 25th:

  1. Sell at least one book (I haven’t sold any in a month…Perhaps I need to do something differently with book covers or advertising?? Wait, I don’t advertise…)
  2. Work feverishly on illustrations for the Short Story Sunday Volume 1  book so it can be published ASAP (hopefully in the next week to aid with goal 1)
  3. Have a GREAT giveaway – Ok, so I can’t do much about that one other than posting links like this one –Book 3 of the Stone Dragon Saga: Dragon On The Green free through Kindle for e-reader download until midnight May 21, 2014
  4. Blog Away – Every Day!
  5. Write at least three new chapters for Dragons in the Deep.
  6. Write a short story for S.S.S.
  7. Do some of that pesky housework
  8. Send in the paperwork to get back the other paperwork to take to get copies of the third papers to drive over to the new job so they have it all on file *phew*
  9. Stop giving myself so many big goals, I’m tired just looking at this list and I didn’t even include anything about playing with my little girl (20 months old…lots of energy.)

 

Oh! I almost forgot…My Dad, Dr. Wilson Jay Tyree, set a goal for the week too:

  1. Give away copies of the new children’s book, Monsoon McKreel and the Rose to people across the globe…or at least just a lot of people. Monsoon McKreel is free for download until Friday May 23rd.

 

I hope that seeing my goals helps you make your own, makes you feel better, or at least gives you a nice healthy chortle this fine morning. Do have any goals you would like to share? I would love to see them! Not only is sharing caring (remember that when you talk to your friends…Sharing things like books written by nice ladies you read on the internet means that you CARE about your loved ones!)…sharing helps us stay on point so we don’t have to explain our failures to everyone!