Saturday, November 18, 2017

Wonder, With Friends *grin*

Today I woke up excited to finally get to see the movie on screen that would compare to the movie in my mind as I read the book Wonder by R.J. Polaccio. I pretty much went into it with low expectations because the book is ALWAYS better than the movie. I figured that if my expectations would be low, then I wouldn't be disappointed. The good news is that I wasn't disappointed and while I enjoyed the movie, the people I saw it with made it even better. *grin*

I had invited some people to see it with me, and we all went together. Some of us had read the book and some hadn't. However, it didn't matter. All of us loved the movie (which was better than I expected, but yes, the book was better for me) and afterward we took a picture by the Wonder poster. I expected the movie to be my highlight, but it turned out that the people made it even better.

One of the kids that joined us sat by me on purpose. I smiled inside. So then I was between the young person and her Mom, but I loved it because we joked and laughed from time to time. It was fun. *grin*

I guess I had looked forward to the movie so much that I hadn't expected the PEOPLE I was with would be my highlight. All of us loved the movie and I walked away so very blessed by each of them. *grin*

A few of us went to the dollar spot at Target (it's next door to the theatre) and had fun goofing around there. Eventually my friends left and I was on my own. *grin* I found a lot of fun stuff for Christmas gifts. I'm trying to spread out the Christmas Crunch this year over 3 months. *grin*

So, yes, I suggest you run out and see Wonder. *grin* It is full of inspiration and hope, which is something we need in today's world. *grin* I thought it stuck to the book really well, and that the actors and actresses did a fantabulous (word I made up) job! Yes, I want to see it again already. It was that good.

For now, sleep sounds great.

I am blessed by each of the friends that went with me today. It made for a day that I will never forget. *grin*


Friday, November 17, 2017

Wonder--The Movie

In 2012 I picked up a book and didn't have any idea how much it would come to bless me and teach me about life this side of Heaven. I know, you would think it would be the Bible, right? Well, yeah, the Bible is one of my faves too, but Wonder was the first book I truly could connect with on so many different levels.

If you haven't read the book, I highly recommend you stop reading this blog and pick up the book. Yes, it means that much to me.

If you have read it, you know it's about Auggie, a boy with a Craniofacial syndrome. Meaning, his face looks different from what is considered "normal" today. I could relate to the kid in so many ways.

I was bullied because of the way I walk. Yes, kids thought that my limp meant I was stupid. Kids can be cruel. I teared up more than once as I read the book.

I could relate to being stared at and hearing various people say, "What's wrong with her leg?" to the people they were around. It sometimes hurts my feelings, if I'm going to be transparent here. At the same time, if it's a kid, I get it. Kids aren't being mean to me, they're curious. You'd be amazed at how many people say, "I'll explain later."

In the few years since the book was released, I have had a theory that I've thought about a lot. I think everyone has a "limp" or a facial difference, or something. The only difference between all of us is that not everyone can see each person's "limp". Some people are addicted to drugs, alcohol, are abusive, and/or fight depression. I could list more, but those are the biggies to me. *grin*

In the midst of that, KINDNESS is what we need. In the book, Kindness is the lesson throughout the story.

I sit here and think often about how everyone is fighting a battle that we don't even know about. Or maybe we do know it. Either way, we need to be KIND to one another. Life is hard enough as it is, we need to support and love each other like today is our last day.

Tomorrow I get to see the movie on the big screen. I'm excited like I'm a little kid at Christmas.

Out of all the books I've read in my lifetime (and that's a lot of books) this one has touched me beyond words that I can explain to you. I can't wait to see the book on the big screen.

I know, the book will be better. The book is ALWAYS better to me.

However, I'm pumped to experience it again for a "first" time. *grin*

I'll let you know how I like it, but, I won't ruin it for you. *grin*


Saturday, October 28, 2017

A Piece of Heaven-Fall Barnabreak 2017

It's weird to think that one week ago I was at my favorite place on the planet. Where did the time go? Can we rewind time? I know, we can't, but gosh it was amazing! I am going to try to put in everything that I remember, but unfortunately you won't be able to get the entire feel, because you weren't there. *grin* Yes, it's amazing to watch, much like your favorite sports team. At the same time, you can't "feel" what they feel because they're the one experiencing it. *grin* Anyway, scroll on, or switch links, doesn't matter. As usual, this is more for me than for you. *giggle*

My trip started with a stop at the Lamar Dairy Queen for some quality time with Karen. Over ice cream, we got caught up and shared our hearts. Time with Karen is always time well spent and it was encouragement I needed in a way you'll never know. I pray everyone has a Karen in their life, someone to encourage you unconditionally even after the sharing of hearts. By the way, Karen has called me to the carpet in the past. However, she knows how to balance those two things. I'm blessed to have her in my life. *grin*

After our chat, I headed to Camp Barnabas, and arrived during the dance party. It was so fun to connect with my amazing family at Barnabas. I love how people love out at camp. I spent time talking with people during the dance portion, and then looked for Ronni at Wrap-Up. I saw her, and walked right over. *grin*

I came up from behind and said, "Hi Ronni". She stopped and then said, "Shannah!" We hugged and I felt like the weekend at Barnabas was going to be AMAZING. I was right. *grin*

I was assigned to Ronni's cabin, which was full of some girls I already knew and some I didn't know at all. I found myself in wonder as the girls jumped in and did whatever was necessary for the campers. I love how the schedule doesn't change out at camp, so I knew what was going to happen when. I like that. *grin*

Saturday morning we had IP, but I found myself chatting with the Brawners during that time. They were headed out to a wedding, but it was soooo good to see them and catch up. They headed out and I headed to IP. I didn't make it all the way up, as I met the new maintenance man's family. They were precious and I LOVED their dog. They will be an amazing addition to Barnabas. I truly believe that.

I met everyone as they were leaving IP, and Ronni was SO SWEET. Ronni reminds me of Jay when we're visiting people at their house. He can wonder away, but he ALWAYS has to know where I am at. I think it's sweet, in both cases. *grin* Breakfast flew by, and we were back in the cabin in no time for devos and cabin clean up. I did a little laundry, but it wasn't much. One of our campers was having some rough moments, but the people with her did an amazing job. Totally. *grin*

Our morning activity included an impromptu nature walk. We walked all around camp, and wound up in the dining hall for activity number two, pumpkin decorating. It was precious to walk around and be in awe of God's creation. Not to mention how fun it was to see the campers and missionaries get along so well. It was precious. I knew that the afternoon would include pumpkin smashing, but it was still cute. I talked to several people through that time, and it was precious. *grin*

Lunch flew by, and next thing I knew it was time for naps. Gosh, I love naps out at camp. It's hard to describe, but due to the schedule of camp, sleep is precious. Probably because it's not a priority there during the rest of the day. I was exhausted from parent/teacher conferences and sleep was priceless.

Next up was the activity in the field. I love how they have put down cement in a portion of it so I could balance better. *giggle* Yes, camp life means balancing various ground challenges. *grin* After pumpkin smashing, we could choose from tug of war, a hayride, bobbing for donuts, and bobbing for pumpkins. I thought it was all well thought out and a good time was had by all. I experienced the hayride for the first time, with one of our campers. It was tons of fun.

After the ride, as we were getting off, two campers had a little trouble getting off the hayride. I loved how well everyone handled it while various staff and missionaries helped the two campers. Afterwards, I was with one of the campers who was shaken from the event (even though she wasn't involved) and one of the staffers came over to cheer her up. She arranged for the camper's favorite song to be played on the music system. It was precious how hard the gal worked to cheer the camper up. It was awesome. *grin* Following that activity was showers.

I loved my cabin, as their Daily Living Skills were pretty good. I was a third at times, but really hung out with people during that time in the cabin. Okay, mainly Ronni. *giggle* That girl makes me smile TONS. It was so cute. *grin*

After that was dinner and the party. Dinner also flew by, but what can I say? Time flies when you're having fun. *grin* The party was a Talent Show, and I have to say that was probably my favorite event all weekend. Watching young people with disabilities go up and sing, dance, or even do the hand jive in front of everyone was precious. Ronni went up and sang an original song. That was precious to me. However, the most impactful was the level of encouragement through the show. Teens were cheering the kids on, saying things like, "Look at that coordination!" It was full of laughter and smiles. It was what I imagine Heaven will one day be like. We were sitting on bean bags in the dining hall, which was GENIUS! I loved it. I was comfortable on the floor! (That's when I miss my young body the most. LOL) I took a lot of pics, and it was tons of fun.

We walked back to the cabin, and then I was sent to get something from the Wellhouse. When I came back, the girls in my cabin were outside, waiting. This sometimes happens when a camper needs more space. Leadership came, and took care of it. Frazier and I had a brief chat about camp life, and then he moved on. I love hearing life stories and he shared a snippet of his family's. It was fun. He also met Ronni, and when he walked off I immediately said to Ronni, "He's married with kids, so don't think he's single and develop a crush." I mean, Ronni loves guys, so I could see where it was headed if I didn't say that. *grin* It was precious. *grin*

Next up was bedtime, family time, and bed. Ronni was fun with the girls, and we had some amazing teens that made it all fun. Family time was precious, and I loved how transparent the teens were with everyone. It was amazing. I was exhausted, but it was so worth it. *grin*

Sunday morning was busy with church, breakfast, and camper preparations to go home. I loved that we didn't have to clean the cabin as thoroughly as usual due to there being a maintenance team now. *grin* The weekend went by so fast, I found it hard to believe that it was all over. However, I truly believe that fun means fast time. *grin*

I wish everyone I know could have some time at Barnabas. Not only are people incredible to people out there, but it's a family. *grin* I love so many of the people out there. *grin*

I was in charge of taking Ronni home, so I made her go to closing ceremonies with me. *giggle* Closing Ceremonies are unforgettable because you get to say your last good-byes and take tons of pics. Ronni won the award for the female camper who embodies the spirit of Barnabas. It was SO MUCH FUN to watch because I didn't know ahead of time. She didn't know either. I smiled. Priceless. *grin*

On the way home, we stopped and got McDonald's for lunch. This was memorable because the car ahead of me paid for our lunch! I'd never experienced that, so it was fun. I also paid for the car behind me, which was cheaper, but so much fun! How cool is that? *giggle*

Last weekend was a weekend I wish I could re-live. At the same time, Jay is asleep on his recliner in the sun, and I'm still in pajamas at 1:45pm. I love both weekends, but the best news is that I will be back at Barnabas in a few months. I'm so blessed. *grin*

On the way home I stopped and saw a dear friend in the area. It was tons of fun. Totally. *grin* I drove off smiling. The weekend was one for the calendar. It was that good. *grin*

I don't plan to get out of PJ's today, and to rejuvenate with the furry kid. Camp was fun, and I'll be there before I know it too.


Friday, October 13, 2017

"It Gets Better"

Not too long ago I was watching an episode of Ellen and someone asked her what her advice would be for people today. She simply said, "It gets better." I have to agree. Life has ups, downs, and everything in-between. But, in my life, it has always gotten better. *grin* Don't get me wrong, I had an awesome childhood. My parents gave me everything I needed, and still give me unconditional love to this day. However, as an adult, the hits seem harder at times, and negativity can eat you alive. Today though, I was reminded that life does get better. *grin*

Extremely long story told in a Reader's Digest Version, I've had some challenges in various chapters of my adult life. I have always worked hard to look past it, but, sometimes I found myself sad. I wasn't super sad or anything, just felt various feelings due to various events. (Yes, being vague on purpose because the events don't matter for you to understand the point of this post.)

Today I was reminded about Ellen's quote. A friend at work walked up to me and asked me to do lunch. (No kids at school due to Professional Development day) I got to go on an adventure with some work friends, and was a part of something I haven't had in years. I smiled inside more than those lunch friends know. I silently thanked God as we walked back into the school building. *grin* Ellen was right, it does get better. *giggle*

For tonight, I'm thankful for today's lunch. In fact, it was the highlight of my day.

TOTALLY. *grin*


Saturday, October 07, 2017

Dear Kelah

Dear Kelah,

Your celebration of life today was one I will never forget. You weren't one of my students, but I knew you. You don't know that I noticed you when you were alive, but I did. I enjoyed hearing the stories today about you, and I was so blessed to hear how much you impacted those around you. You were loved incredibly well this side of Heaven, and it's clear you're loved well on your Celebration of Life Day. I saw SO MANY people come to the service, and wasn't surprised at all. When I walked into the service and saw the sign "Seats 110", I thought, "That's not enough..." I was so glad I was right. *grin* It was standing room for some of the attendees, which was a testament of the love people have for you and your family. Staff Members that are no longer working at our school came to celebrate your life too. We're pretty blessed to have such a cool family at school that would all come and support your family. Truly. Mrs. Pickard sat by me, and it was truly a blessing to share that with her and my new friend, Mrs. Williams. You touched so many lives, and I'm so glad you were honored so well today.

I loved the stories people shared that the Celebration today, and want to add one more here. I mean, I'm sure it would have taken HOURS for everyone to share, so I want to put one here. *grin*

Since I know your brother, I was always blessed by the love he has for you. When he would walk down the hall where your class was last year, he LOVED to stop and wave at you. He would knock on the window sometimes, and we trained him not to do that so it wouldn't interrupt that classroom, but, it was so cute and evident how much he looked up to you. He adores you, and I guarantee you that you won't be forgotten this side of Heaven if your brother has anything to do with it. *wink*

You will be missed this side of Heaven, that's for sure. Death is a natural part of life, but unexpected death seems harder. I plan to support your family the best I can, in any way they will let me. I've been sending your Mom encouragement quotes, via text messages, each night before I go to bed, and hope that's helping her.

I can only imagine how wonderful things are there. Please don't worry about your family here. They have an incredible support system, and our school family will continue to help in any way we can to help in the days, weeks, and years to come.

I know the holidays are coming, and I've been praying for your family in that. I'll be praying that your brother and sister are happy and that love prevails in the heartache that is to come.

Love. That's the point of it all, isn't it?

Don't worry, we'll be okay. We know you're in the best place possible, at Home. *grin*

Miss Springer

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Sometimes I Wonder Why...

The older I get the more I ponder life. I'm sure that has something to do with the fact that I've been on the planet, possibly, longer than I have left. Don't worry, I'm not WANTING to die, just kind of feeling philosophical tonight. You can close your browser window, that's fine. *grin* Honestly, I blog more for me than for you.

One week ago, I found out someone I know went to Heaven unexpectedly. I feel like Heaven's gained some good people this year. In some ways it's broken my heart, and in other ways, I can only imagine the party in Heaven. I know so many young people in Heaven, and want to believe that the welcoming committee is AMAZING! *grin*

The older I get the more I ponder life. I believe that's normal for my age.

Sometimes I wonder why some live to 99 and others die young.

Sometimes I wonder why I have CP, but some can't see past that to see me.

Sometimes I wonder why some people are never happy.

Sometimes I wonder why some people can have kids and others aren't able to get pregnant.

Sometimes I wonder why some people are harder to love than others.

Sometimes I wonder why kids are abused.

Sometimes I wonder why I'm still single.

Sometimes I wonder why some people don't enjoy reading.

Sometimes I wonder why chocolate isn't a food group.

Sometimes I wonder why God makes each of us unique.

Sometimes I wonder why love can be hard.

Sometimes I wonder why hard work scares some people.

Sometimes I wonder why Jay goes under my couch instead of sitting by me.

Sometimes I wonder why singing isn't a talent given to everyone.

Sometimes I wonder why encouragement is hard for some people.

Sometimes I wonder why failure scares people when life can always get better.

Sometimes I wonder why life is hard for some and easy for others.

Sometimes I wonder why it matters if people are patriotic during the national anthem.

Sometimes I wonder why laughter is so foreign to some people.

Sometimes I wonder why parents are so hard on themselves.

Sometimes I wonder why food has to be an issue for some people.

Sometimes I wonder why some people don't believe in God.

Sometimes I wonder why my grandparents had to go Home when I miss them everyday.

Sometimes I wonder why it's so easy to judge, when it's not our place.

Sometimes I wonder how I'm so blessed to have the family that I do.

Sometimes I wonder why my Aunt had to have a stroke and has never been the same.

Sometimes I wonder why some people don't like dogs.

Sometimes I wonder why it's so easy for women to talk badly about other women.

Sometimes I wonder why it took me so long to find Camp Barnabas.

Sometimes I wonder why friendships sometimes fizzle into nothing.

Sometimes I wonder why divorce is so easy for some people.

Sometimes I wonder why God made me the way He did.

Sometimes I wonder why some people always focus on the negatives in life.

Sometimes I wonder why mental health is such a taboo to talk about.

Sometimes I wonder why people feel life is a competition instead of a journey.

Sometimes I wonder why some people can be outright mean to others.

Sometimes I wonder why they had to only make Finding Nemo and Finding Dory, seems like there should be more. *grin*

Sometimes I wonder why I can only see current Ellen seasons. I was late to the show....I wanna see more. *grin*

I could obviously go on and on and on and on.

Here's what I do know....

Our loss this week was Heaven's gain.

God is still in control when my life feels out of control.

I'm on an incredible staff, and wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

Ultimately, I know I'm on Earth for a time such as this, and am where He has called me to be for now.

I'm blessed. Tremendously.

For now, I am going to pop some popcorn and watch Ellen. This week was hard, and I need to laugh.

Trusting God isn't easy, but it's the right thing to do.

Life is precious.

I plan to make every single day count.


Friday, September 22, 2017

QuikTrip Ponderings

The Quiktrip closest to me closed in order to build a bigger, better, QuikTrip. I wasn't paying attention to the social media postings that said it was closing. I noticed about two weeks ago that it was closed. For the past couple weeks I've watched them demolish the building and parking lot when I've been headed to or from work.

I mean it's gone. If you hadn't been here before, you wouldn't believe there was one there three weeks ago. It was a BUSY Quiktrip too.

Then I checked Social Media. It's closed for four months to build a new one.

I have to admit that I smiled. I've become a Quiktrip fan since I moved here. *grin*

So, everyday as I drive to work, I pass the QT location. They have even broken the concrete of the parking lot and where the gas pumps were at. They were also smart and put a fence around it. No telling what trouble could happen if someone played in there. *eek*

So, with every passing day you can hardly tell that there was a QT there. Sure, they kept the gas price sign up, and I doubt they'll change it. Then again, maybe they will add something to it, so it can be digital. *grin*

You wouldn't think that a QT being demolished would lead me to some deep ponderings, but it seriously has led to some thoughts. Some I'll put here and some I'll add to my private writings. Here goes, and as always, this is more for me than you.

I pray all the time. No, not out loud but I am constantly asking Him questions in my head. I mean, teaching isn't easy, so I ask for guidance as I teach each young person. I have several that are in a place academically where I'm building the foundation of their education. I'm literally attempting to teach ABCs and numbers. My students are like those boulders that are chipped and challenged. I pray that I can build them up and teach them as well as that construction team is working to make that building out of nothing. Seriously.

I've also thought about my school year this year. Last year was tough, and I had many days I dreaded work. You'd have to have seen it to get it. Suffice to say, I felt like last year I was becoming a student behavior expert and came home tired everyday. Fortunately, I didn't quit and become a Wal-Mart greeter, as I pondered on some of the hardest days. *giggle* This year, I'm seeing the results of my hard work from last year. Sure, there are still bumps, but I feel like the foundation laid last year prepared me and the kids for this year. Totally. Today one of the kids knew 20 of his letters, and last year we had six. Special Education takes TIME. We're building those littles like they're building that QT. *grin*

My paraprofessional, and friend, from the past 3 years moved on unexpectedly to a different building. Initially I felt like that building being demolished, and I was in a small funk. You know me, I never stay there, but gosh we were close friends. As always, He knows what I need before I do. He brought someone that is becoming precious to me too, and we laugh together daily. We're building the Learning Center in a special way, and I am thankful for the change. He knows me well enough to know that I hate change, and fight it more often than I'd like to admit. I'm gaining a new friend, which has blessed me tons. Don't worry, my former assistant and I text almost daily. I didn't lose her, we both just gained what we need for this season in our lives. Totally. *grin*

I've spent HOURS in the dentist's office the past few weeks. It has been HARD. Every trip has included shots and various procedures. On top of what I have had physically, the financial commitment has been unexpected, but worth every penny. I mean, you only get one set of teeth. *grin* I've thought a lot about my students as I'm basically pinned in that chair with (at times) some painful stuff going on. I had tears well up at one point this past week in the dentist chair and my legs at one point shook beyond my control. It was tough, like those concrete blocks in that construction site. At the same time, I persevered and made it. It made me think a lot about my students who are asked to sit and work when it's hard. It also reminded me why some people struggle to pray. In that moment when I was shaking, it wasn't until I prayed that it stopped. I imagine that what I did is a typical human thing, I was trying to just make it stop. Prayer in my head, and then it stopped. *giggle*

Perhaps the biggest lesson I've been praying through has been what I've heard this week. I now remember why Jay and God are my top two peeps. *giggle* Humans can be, well, human. I heard some people this week talking about other people, and I just wanted to be away from the negative discussions. In the dentist's chair I heard my dentist talking poorly about someone else as she worked on my tooth. Granted, it wasn't someone I knew, but it still broke my heart. I didn't want to hear it, and didn't hear tons over the drills and such, but I didn't enjoy that. I left that office and prayed a lot that night not to want to be that negative woman. I want to build others up as they walk through life this side of Heaven. Truly. I'm finding that to be more and more rare as I get older. I pray I build people to be who they're made to be, just as that new QT is gonna be really cool when it's done. *giggle*

I'm now bed-bug free. Yes, I had the joy of the bed bug experience this past summer. I'll spare you the details, but I did wind up having to have exterminators come and take care of it. (Random fact, they had to get my room to 140 degrees to treat it. Who knew? *giggle*) They had to strip everything down to build it back up just as they are doing with that QT. Let me tell ya, it was worth every penny. I like living back in my room now (I was staying in my guest bedroom) and the freedom that has come with the extermination. It's weird how we get used to things in life that are weird, like living in a guest bed and doing laundry in a way that kept bed bugs from the other bedrooms. It was broken down to be built back up. Kinda cool. Definitely cool to be in my new bed free of bugs. Totally. *grin*

Finally, so many things have happened already this school year, and I'm excited to see where we're headed. Our leadership is amazing, and the year is going well. I'm excited, just as I'm excited for the new QT to open. *grin*

It's the first day of Fall. I'm excited for that too!