Sunday, December 20, 2015

What Was My Focus



    Well it looks like blogging has not been my focus this year considering I haven't posted since March haha! Oh well I was living life and not blogging it (yeah that's what I will go with instead of "I was just too lazy to type).

    So now that I have some time and I'm work free, thanks to that awesome perk of teaching that is called Christmas Break/Mental Recoup 2 Weeks, I've had some time to consider what this year held. I've also started to think abut what I want my focus on for next year to be. My word for this year was Joy and I'm pretty proud of myself and how I was able to infuse the mindset of "Finding Joy" in all situations (may also have helped to be back on my meds haha! But thats not here nor there.) So as I was saying I tried to really remind myself that I could find Joy in every situation. My word for me this year goes beyond just being my yearly mantra or focus. It's one of those things that really needs to root in and
intertwine in my being. I see the idea of finding Joy something that I want to keep close all the time and to be reminded of everyday. I loved the Viking Symbol for joy and thought that it just went with what I needed to be reminded of, to have joy either in the Mountain top or in the valley. So yeah I liked it so much and felt that it was more then just a yearly long thing I went and made it like a permanent thing...like wrist tattoo permanent haha!

I picked the verse Ps. 138:8 as a reminder that I can have Joy no matter what because as verse 8 says,
            "He shall perfect that which concerneth me."



    So as I finish up this year I thought it was time to do a little reflective post, a recap of 2015. Overall it wasn't all that monumental... I went back and reviewed it thanks to Facebook and Instagram (who else has to sometimes refer back to FB and Instagram to figure out when things happened...please tell me I'm not the only one!?) Oh, and I loved taking a look at my year that I documented in my creative journal. So here are the major things that I set out to do. I said I was going to:
 "...stop comparing myself, my job, income, relationship status, house, life, and passport to others. That I was  going to enjoy the journey, whither it's a view from the top or walking the valley below. I'm going to stop focusing on the end and enjoy the middle. Was going to recognize that I am very Blessed and try my best to bless those around me, and also going to focus on being grateful for I am blessed with, and going to remember that no matter what 2015 may bring I can have joy because I know that God is in control of it all."

So I found a much better outlook when it came to work. 

I enjoyed the small things, and I feel like a was a lot more positive and focused on the Joy of the moment.

 Did I still have bad days...You better believe it. 

Was I always happy...Heck NO I'm still single and PMS every month so...

Did I enjoy teaching again, yeah. Do I know if teaching is what I want to do with the rest of my life...Still not sure. 

Was I thankful that I could text Liz with all those crazy text about how I was going to Puke if one more high schooler found their "One true love" while I was still dateless...you better believe it. 

Did I travel, yep but it was just a cruise and a "Kind-of" Road Trip (I won't complain I could have stayed in Buras all year...so bright spot!). 

Did I get down to my goal weight...not even close (heck at this point I'm not even sure what that is? I guess 5-10 lbs lighter then whatever I am at the time). 

Was I healthier? Well I worked out and consumed a lot of vegetables (Coffee counts as a veggie right? It grows on a plant...that's makes it count right??) 

Did I get closer to God?? Well there were moments when I prayed He would just go ahead and take me as I sat through yet another pointless PLC or faculty meeting. 

Did I read my Bible more....No I didn't. Just being real, my walk with God was more like a roller coaster ride. Moments of me getting really close to Him and then having moments were I felt like a was plummeting to the ground, hanging on tight and praying for things/situations to pass, fear I was not going to just forgo my convictions for the "Easy Way", distractions on the side, crying out to Him only when I felt like I really needed him, and feeling beyond blessed to know that in His grace I knew he was right in the seat next to me the whole time, even when most of the time I was focused on all the other things around me. 

I'm I hoping I do better next year...you better believe it!

And the pics from my journal





Love my Family!
Yep, I turned 35! I know what you're going to say, "What, no way you can't be a day over 25!?!
I know I age well haha!

Had a nice lil cruise with Sammie

Got to go to the Art Conference and met one of my Blog crushes Cassie Stephens

Paid off 2 credit cards this year!  Helped with my 5th Prom.

Watched more of my babies graduate and go off into the big world.

Enjoyed a much needed summer break...I did work some but it was in flip flops so all good.

Took our yearly "End of School Girls Trip" to the Beau
Took a Road Trip my my sister Lydia and lil Bug

Fun times!!!

Started a section in my journal for all those notes and quotes I get from my kids LOL!! 


So now I'm sitting here wondering what my word and focus will be in 2016 and as with most things in my life it gets turned into a list.
So far I have no clue what next year will bring? I know I will be teaching, taking classes, enjoying my time with my family, maybe completing the whole 30 Days of Yoga Challenge, expanding my coffee mug collection, paying off more debt, trying to get to that darn goal weight, taking a group to Europe, and trying to live a life worthy of the title Christian.
I was sitting in church and may have been writing in my journal, when I thought of the word BE...
I also thought about the others listed but kept coming back to BE. Be content, be daring, be happy, be faithful, be kind, be...


So I'm going to try and not wait a whole 9 months before posting again. 
But if not... 



~Till Next Time





Sunday, March 29, 2015

My First National Art Convention!


     I was super excited to be able to go to the NAEA art convention this weekend. It was in New Orleans and being this close my Principals were super awesome and paid for me to go. I have been wanting to attend an art convention for a long time now and was excited for and my first one. I have to say that it far exceeded my expectations!!! It was also great that a bunch of the sessions were about digital art, a class that we will be adding in the fall. I'm nervous, excited, and...nervous to be adding this class to our art curriculum at our school. It's an awesome opportunity for my kids to have this class offered and the going to be great that they will be able to work towards being Adobe Photoshop certified! I'm nervous because I've never taught this and I'm going to have to do a lot of prep work over the summer and I'm going to have to get certified myself....lots of work for me this summer!! But I'm going to take the words of my friend and "Embrace the Struggle."
But after these 3 days I do have to say that there were so many people that encouraged me and offered assistance and made me a little less nervous about this new adventure. So if nothing else Thanks those of you at NAEA that were so helpful and made it a great 3 days!!

So this great 3 days of amazing sessions began with an opening session with Tim Gunn!

Got to go to some interesting sessions like this one

Got to meet a few of my blog idols like 
Sands and Purtee both awesome art teachers over at the http://www.artofapex.com/ they were some of the teachers that I looked to when adding more choice to my classroom. They were so both down to earth and had a great session!

But I have to say that I was the most excited to meet Cassie!!! I love her blog and think that you really should check it out at http://cassiestephens.blogspot.com/ she has such an awesome blog, a classroom I want to take art in, and by far the best art themed outfits you will ever see!! She was also super sweet and took time to chat with me and even complemented my T-Rex sweater haha! I know I was totally acting like a blogger stalker when I was all like, "I love your outfits, your cat is too cute, and I am going to be trying my hand at felting because of you!" But she played it cool, didn't look at me and weird or run the other way, and was super cool about posing for a pic!

 This was a really awesome giant sculpture made from shredded paper

I think one of the best things about the convention was all of the free stuff that I got!! 
Sketchbooks, color pencils, paint, paint sticks, pastels, spray paint, glue, and great lesson plans!!
This was from day one

Day two of free stuff and I got to make a spirit tree at the Blick Art supply booth...so much fun!!!

The last day I took a Chinese Calligraphy class and it was super cool. I did have a moment when I was really stressed at having to do something that I didn't feel confident in and not feeling like it was turning out like I wanted it to. I then had that moment when I was like, "This is how my kids feel!" 

This was our example...

This was mine... Not like his but...

So it was a great three days! I do have to day that I was wondering what my kids were up to and how my room looks after 2 days with sub...I'm praying that they remembered all of my training and feared me enough to clean up after themselves! I guess I will find out tomorrow when I go in. Yes, I'm going to work tomorrow even though its Spring Break. I have so much to get done. I have Prom to get ready for, it's the Sat of the week we go back to school. I also have a ton of grading to do, lesson plans to post, projects to prep for, and art pieces to finish for the silent auction at the Art show.
Here are some projects that my kids have recently done.

One of my Art 3 kids painting

An Art 4 kid... she was playing around when she made this

An Art 3 students painting

My Art 4 kid

One of my Art 4 kids wanted to paint with crayons

And my boys...playing with their giant paper mache weapons LOL!!! 

I have a lot more artwork of my students to photography...maybe I will get to it this week. I'm super excited to have a whole week, Spring Break, to work in my classroom and get caught up...I know, Lame! Oh well, it is what it is hahaha!!

~Till Next Time

Monday, February 9, 2015

Grateful Sundays: Week 5

Totally forgot to post yesterday! 

Monday:
I'm thankful that my administration is sending me to the National Art Conference.

Tuesday:
I'm grateful for dinners with Sammie at China Sea :)

Wednesday:
So grateful to be named SPHS Teacher of the month.

Thursday:
Grateful for my sister's homemade pizza and dinner with my family.


Friday:
Love Friday nights curled up on the couch with Mr. Bingley watching a movie.

Saturday:
So thankful for Smart Phones and love my new Note 4

Sunday:
Grateful for Sunday lunches and long talks around the table. 

Something I'm really looking forward to:
Mardi Gras Break and my cruise in 10 days!

What were you grateful for this Week??

~Till Next Time

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Grateful Sundays


     I love love Flow magazine! It is by far my favorite magazine. One of the things that I love about it is all the beautiful images, ideas and the fact that each edition comes with a few little surprises. This past edition came with this great little Gratefulness Diary. Now I'm not saying Flow is a God thing but I had just picked my word for the year, Joy, and said that I was going to be more positive and grateful when I got this...so I'm calling it a God wink. 
This is the little description in the front cover and it was just what I needed just when I needed it.
"It's the little things that mean a lot," sang Sonny and Cher in the 1967 movie Good Times. "It's what you are, not what you got." And weren't they right. If you go searching for happiness in the big things, most likely you'll overlook it. Yet that is often exactly what we do. We focus on our big plans for the future, the house we'd like to have, that better job, a new love... while thru happiness is right here in the present, and we forget to notice it. That's why we made this Little Gratefulness Diary. Its aim is to help you focus on the beautiful, positive moments happening in your life right now. For each day for the next 29 weeks, you can use these pages to jot down all the things that make you smile. We've also included some questions you can answer to highlight other things that make your day so nice. And if it's true what the experts say, you'll soon notice a change in the way you think.
     So I'm I just finished up week 4 and I'm loving that it's making me really think about what I have to be grateful for each day. Here's what I was grateful for this week:

Mon: 
I'm so grateful for sick days, even when I hate the fact I have to use them.

Tue:
Thankful for all the kids that DO want to be in art class...and hoping to turn the ones that don't :)

Wed:
Thankful for Ibuprofen and acces to medication when I need it. Not feeling so great today.

Thur:
Thankful for those kids that crack me up and make me laugh!

Fri:
So grateful for good friends, fun Birthday dinners at the Melting Pot, and great gifts like my new Mantra Band from Lydia!

Sat:
I'm so grateful for 35 years, and Saturdays...definitely Saturdays!

Sun:
Grateful for Sunday dinners with my family!

So what were you grateful for this week?

~Till Next Time
Syl

35 Years & 35 Life Lesson


Yep, Happy Birthday to me! I turned 35 today! I know...I still look 25 ;) Well except those few darn gray hairs that seem to want to make their selves home on my head...Curse you gray hairs Curse You!!!


So yeah besides the few gray hairs, which I blame on teaching high school, I have picked up a few life lessons. Here are my 35 life lessons. Enjoy!

1. Life doesn't turn out like we think, plan, or sometimes want. Roll with it and trust that God's plans are better than yours.



 2. Yep I've learned that not everyone is going to be a fan and I'm ok with that.  


3. I can be my own worst enemy and thats not cool. I have learned that I have to stop being so critical of myself and that it's ok if I mess up just learn from it.


4. This one took some time but I'm ok with my crazy...heck I've learned to embrace it. I'm different and thats ok :)


5. Get things in writing!



6. Don't steal and never go through a mirror to a man in a mask. Thanks Fine Arts Survey for those lessons

7. Make sure that you go straight to bed after taking Ambien. No texting, FB, or calling. And you still may wake up and find an empty bag of chips in the middle of your living room (and not recall ever getting out of bed!)


8. I would rather do one thing really great then a bunch of things crappy. Sometimes it just has to be about quality over quantity. 




9. No matter what happens your family will always be there for you, will help you move, again and again, tell you what you need to hear, remind you to lower your freak flag just a bit, love you when you're not being so lovable, cheer you up when you are down.  




 10. Don't compare my life, job, situations, experiences, past, future, relationships, or adventures to anyone else's.


11. Just because you wish for it doesn't mean it will come true. You have to go after what you want and in most cases it's going to take time, energy, and work.





 12. At least I have learned to laugh at myself...I will never cease to be amused!


13. Stop waiting on your prince charming to come and whisk you off to his castle. Sometimes you just have to jump on your own house and chase your own adventure.


 14. Really learned this after Katrina, collect things that cannot be taken, Memories, Moments, and Experiences!


15. If the devil can't make you bad he will make you busy. Never become to busy for God!


16. A cup of good coffee or tea, good sheets, matching bra and underwear, cupcakes, manis and pedis, a good book, and a furry cat purring in your lap all make your life way more enjoyable!!!




 17. Don't borrow trouble. Don't except other's mess.



 18. I had no idea! Bills, decisions, jobs, stress, and other adults makes you sometimes think that it's not all the fun and games you thought. But I still don't want to be 15 again.



19. Haha...this is how I sometimes feel. Thanks Honey Boo Boo!!!
I'm not going to be a size 2 (well unless Im really really sick and taking meds for migraines) and I'm ok with that. Maybe I'm a tad vain, but I also don't want to be bigger than my size 6.



 20. Teaching art and doing prom has taught me this well. I will never get rid of the glitter in my car and seems to get on me every day.


21. People will eventually let you down in some way. Remember they are human just like you.


 22. A min. on the treadmill can seem like the longest hour of your life.



23. Pack for a trip and then take out half. Never fails, I always over pack!



24. A Netflix marathon will suck you in and you will blink and realize you haven't moved from your couch for the whole day!


 25. Coffee will pretty much fix anything, or make me happy enough to overlook it.


Well that escalated quickly!
26. Stay away from WebMD...it never turns out good. 


27. It's all fun and games until the fun and games portion stops...and boy can it turn quickly!


28. I didn't realize that life would give me so many moments when a Monte Python quote could so easily be inserted.


29.  I've learned that life is about the journey. I will have moments in the valley and those on the mountain top. I have to keep my joy in both, enjoy the journey, and learn to find the positive in every moment!


30. Being single and without kids has many positives! Learn to love the different seasons of my life!


31. There is always worse jobs than mine, even on my worse day!  

32. Never make big life decisions when I'm emotional or PMSing!


33. I will have moments of restlessness, it doesn't mean I'm not where I should be, or that I'm unhappy. It's just a moment...sometimes I just need a little adventure to settle the restlessness.


34. Never settle or lower your standards! Hold true to your convictions and stand firm on your beliefs.


35. You are only as good as those around you...so make sure to surround yourself with greatness. 




So here's to hoping that this is my best year yet! I made a wish that I would love to see come about but if nothing else the past 35 years have taught me that life doesn't really go by my plans LOL! 
But no matter what I'm sure it will be an awesome year!

I gave myself a nice Birthday gift 

A 7 day cruise on the Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas

I leave on Feb. 14th LOL

~Till Next Time
Syl