Friday, December 18, 2015

What's going on?

Photo Credit: Ian Sane


I should probably be thinking of a blog to wrap up the year, to tell you about my One Word for the year, and be thinking of a new word. I'm not doing any of that. I'm just thinking about today and not even one day forward. I'm a bit stuck in one spot. I'm not exactly sure why. I'm devouring books which in some ways makes me happy, but it is bordering on obsessive which generally means that I'm trying to avoid some emotion. But I have no clue what emotion or how to figure it out.

The end of the year is coming and I should be preparing all kinds of end of the year wrap up posts and activities. I'm doing none of that. Maybe it is all the stuff going on in the lives of those around me. I'm trying not to take it all in. I'm trying to give it to God and go on. Maybe I'm not doing a good job of that. Maybe I'm just stressed with all of the requirements on me because I know I'm not performing up to my best in most of these areas. Too much stuff and not enough me. I'm sure you guys know what I mean because you've probably been there before yourself.

Not that it is all doom and gloom around here. Lots of things are going well. My kids have had great Christmas programs. We have gone to a couple awesome Christmas parties. I always love having the tree and it's light around. I'm looking forward the family time coming up. Life in general is going well, So maybe I'm just overthinking everything.

I can't quite pinpoint what it is that is nagging in the background somewhere, if it is anything. When I figure it out, I will let you know.

Friday, November 20, 2015

In Defense of Teens

Photo Credit: Diverbo Idiomas


A common refrain throughout the ages is, "Kids these days." We are constantly concerned for the future because we doubt the ability of these kids. For those of you that feel this way, let me assure you that your fears are in vain. I work with teens professionally and personally, so I see a lot of them. These stories are what I have seen in the last two days.

Our church is packing a bunch of Operation Christmas Child boxes. Our teens were not only prepared to help sort and pack the hundreds of items collected this year into shoe boxes, they were also prepared to help teach the younger kids how to do it. My son came home telling me about the youth that he chose to help him. He told me a few more times about that youth as well. He was proud of himself and his 'friend' who helped him out. Ben and I were discussing it later and he mentioned that youth and a couple more who watch over him and make sure he knows how to do various things, that he knows where to be at what time, and that play with him. These youth watch out for the little ones and help them out. Watching out for the next generation and teaching them the right things to do sounds like a pretty good quality

We went to our local community college which is the home of our early college high school. The students were waiting on their bus as I was walking through the quad with my kids. A few of my former students called to me and we discussed their current school life and such. That was encouraging for me, but not the heart of the story. My son wasn't interested in the conversation. He wanted to find a wall, so he could play with his wrestling figures. He walked about 10 feet in front of me. There were several other teens gathered around the short wall that surrounded a tower in the center of the quad. He places himself between a few of them, introduced himself, and then narrated for them the match his figurines were performing. They asked him questions and feigned understanding of the match. They were interested in him and who he was even if they weren't interested in the topic of his conversation. They were conversing with him even though they had only met him a few moments before. Talking amiably with people of all ages about a range of topics sounds like a pretty good quality.  

After our visit to the local community college and a family dinner, we returned to my workplace for a womanless pageant. The money raised for this goes to a local battered women's shelter. There were a dozen young men who put on dresses, make-up, jewelry, and high heels. They strutted their stuff, shared their talent, and interviewed well in the name of protecting women. They donated their time, put aside their pride, and never doubted their masculinity. Those are generally things that can cause young men and old men some concern. There was no concern amongst these young men. They were putting themselves aside to do good for other people. Less self, more others sounds like a pretty good quality.

So there is no need to fear for the future. Our teens are good people. They might make some stupid decisions sometimes, but so do we. They might get lazy sometimes, but so do we. They might get an attitude from time to time, but so do we. Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Teens are people and they are pretty good people. We will be okay.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

This isn't failure.

November started 4 days ago and I started my NaNoWriMo journey all over again. Here on day 4, I find that I am already a day behind. I'm already dreading turning on my computer and trying to find words. I know writing is hard work. I know the sitting down to make yourself do it is so much of the battle. I know that is why there is a NaNoWriMo. But knowing all of this isn't helping me.

I already have so much going on, two kids, a husband, church work, a full time job that is extra busy this year, 2 in-laws fighting cancer. I have tried to add NaNoWriMo on top of that. I'm even somewhat excited about the story, but I just can't do it. For two days now, I've thought about quitting. I just don't think I can do it this year. More than can, I don't think I want to do it this year. It was kind of making me feel like a failure as a writer. How can I call myself a writer if I can't even sit down and write 1000 words a day? How can I call myself a writer when I can't develop characters or a plot?

Then I read this. NaNoReadMo! This I can do. This I want to do!

Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn


Sometimes I trap myself into these little boxes of 'success'.  If I can't finish this self imposed deadline that fits into a self imposed box of success, then I must be a failure. We all get that way from time to time and we all know that it isn't really true, but good luck convincing our heart of that. So even though this is my first blog post in a month. And even though I'm quitting NaNoWriMo on day 4. This is not failure. I am still a writer. I am still a blogger. I may not be producing a lot of posts or even a lot of stories, but I am a writer and a blogger. I'm also a reader. And that is what I'm going to celebrate this month.

If you would like to celebrate with me, check out details here.

You can check in on my progress, here on Instagram or here on Twitter.

And the last thing I posted, said to allow yourself to fail. So even if my heart wants to term this a failure, I'm okay with that too.


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Allow Yourself to Fail

Photo Credit: Gareth Williams
Allow yourself to fail.

I have said those words multiple times in the last week. To myself and to others. It seems that there are several of us trying new things whether by force of circumstance or our own choice. New things are not easy. In fact the opposite is true. Doing a new thing is hard and there are so many times that you want to give up. But don't give up! 

Keep trying. Keep moving forward. And even if you fail, you will have started trying. No one ever gets it right the first time. The first time we do something we are breaking new ground. There will be many failures, but there will be done success too. Build on that success! Without that first time of trying you never would have found that success. So even though you will fail, be okay with that. Failure means you tried something new. And that is something to be proud of.

Not only that, but be proud of your failures. You found another way that it didn't work, but you had that idea to do it that way and you saw it through to the end. If you are trying something new, then you care about it. You care about the people you are serving with this new thing. You won't let them down because you hold yourself to a high standard. I know because you are doing a new thing even though it is hard. You are trying new things and thinking of new ideas all the time. You aren't just putting this in a box and hiding it waiting for some miracle to fix it. You have it out of the box working on it. You are growing it and tending it. You aren't waiting on a miracle. Your are the miracle! You are making it happen. Move forward with this new thing. Allow yourself to fail because at least then you are trying.

"You have brains in your head and shoes on your feet. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose." So choose greatness even if there is a little failure along the way.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Pretty Focus

So it seems as if I write a post every two weeks. I would really like it to be more, but it seems difficult to do more. I have had many thoughts of what to write, but sitting down to write it seems very difficult. Today I find myself with a snippet of time and no real ideas. A couple weeks ago it was my birthday and I had all kinds of deep thoughts about turning 35. Now all of those thoughts are gone or at least the timely-ness of the thoughts has gone. That post now feels stale and pointless. So what can I share today?

I'm tired of pain. I'm tired of hurt. I'm tired of ugliness in the world. So I'm going to focus on happier things. I'm not going to deny the hurt, pain, and ugliness, but I don't have to wallow in it either. I don't have to take into my heart and let it take root. I can feel the pain, share the hurt, and accept that there is ugliness. But I'm going to try to find happy things. I'm going to try to see pretty things. I'm going to see the blessings that are all around me.

So happy, pretty, and blessings...

I am in the middle of reading The Night Circus. It is a gorgeous novel. The writing makes you see the circus, smell the scents, and feel the wonder. I'm enjoying every page of this fabulous book. I don't want to read it too fast because I'm not ready to leave the circus just yet. I'm also in the middle of reading two cozy mysteries, Pain in the Tuchis and Death Before Decaf. I'm enjoying spending some time with Mrs. Kaplan in the Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors. Java Jive is new to me, but it seems cozy and Juliet Langley is interesting as well. Reading has always been a great escape for me and right now it is no different. The 10 or 20 minutes a day that I can lose myself in a book are magical.

I've also been enjoying the time that I have with my family. Walking down the street, doing homework, and playing in the yard have all taken on a new shine and a new luster. Those moments with my husband and my kids are special. We all know that time goes too fast and kids get big before we know it. So I'm taking the time to slow down and focus on the moment I am in. There are still days when they are both fussy and I wish away an hour or two. But more often than not I'm realizing how very special these times really are.

My brother in law cleaned out some old boxes and my little family got some awesome new books, including one of my all time favorites, The House on Hackman's Hill. I reread it a couple weeks ago and it scared me all over again. It is good to know that some things never change. We also got some new bedding and DVD's. Free stuff is good, but good free stuff is better.

A few weeks ago we also bought two new chairs, so our dining room table is in use every day! We eat dinner together as a family at the table instead of on the couch. We are also getting a new garage door and new carpet for the basement. We are making some great improvements to our house. We are taking more time for us and our family. We are saying no to some stuff in order to say yes to better things.

There might be tough things going on all over, but there are good things going on too.

 Riding a 4wheeler

 Eating apple in the tub

Playing baseball

Pizza charm (b-day present)

 Fairtrade ice cream (b-day present)

  Free frappe and the one I paid for. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I don't understand

I suppose the silence of a couple weeks should indicate that I have been busy. I am super busy at school, but it is a good busy. I'm getting things accomplished and mostly staying on top of it. I'm finding time to read and getting books off my TBR list. I'm getting to spend time playing and hanging out with my family.

But I can't really say that things are going well.

I see so many people around me suffering the loss of a loved one. A sister, a daughter, a father, a grandpa, a couple great-grandmas, a couple stepdads, and a son. I see so many suffering with cancer, a mother, a father, a sister, a grandma, a granddaughter, a dear friend.

Counse


I just don't understand this all. How do we keep going forward with our lives when so many are hurting? Some of these are people I see every day. I go to church with some of them. They are friends of mine and I see them hurting. I don't know what to do. I don't know what to say.

So I sit here on my computer with my heart hurting for all of these people. I try to cry out to God, but words fail me. I get out a phrase. If I'm lucky almost a sentence and then I get lost. I don't know what to pray for. I don't know how to pray for those in so much pain and doubt.

God,
 
Why? Help.


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Saturday Meanderings

I have been thinking of several different blog posts I could make. However, none of those got written down. So this is going to be an abbreviated version of some of these ideas.

I think fantasy novels are on the rise and over the next few years we will find several fantasy novels entering the canon of modern literature.

I was reminded this week why second, third, or fourth hand information isn't accurate and shouldn't be trusted.

I do not trust easily. I expect people to let me down, so I hold them at a distance. Consequently, I don't make friends easily. I'm not sure if I should do anything about that or not.

My to be read list just keeps getting bigger. I can't seem to find enough time to read. This is a regular problem for me, but recently it has become a dire problem. I might start skimming some books to finish them and move on. Oh! The struggles of a bookworm.

The church as whole seems to be doing an epically bad job of loving people. Not just the general population, but the people within their buildings. We know the church is made up of people and therefore it is flawed. I know that, but it really doesn't excuse the selfishness that comes out so often. We can't keep getting this wrong.

Social media can be used for good or for bad. With filters and unfollowing, we would be able to arrange our accounts to help us be encouraged and to encourage others.

I might be back with a more elaborate post next week. Cross your fingers.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Ten days later.. I can do this

Several days ago I wrote about my cholesterol news, so I thought I would write a follow up.



I did have an appointment with the doctor and he was so encouraging! This is why I love our doctor.  He is encouraging and wants the best health for the whole family both physically and emotionally. I shared some of my food ideas and he thought they were good ideas. He thought my age was in my favor. He days he thought that if I corrected one meal a day my numbers should be fixed by next year. And that is the time he wanted to give me to fix it. He didn't want to give me medicine right away. Those were all the things I wanted to hear!

When I have been at home, I have been more careful about what I eat. I have been reading labels. Eating better carbs and better fats. Eating less processed foods and less in general. Drinking more water and less calories. We did go visit my family in Illinois and eating on the road isn't easy. I also didn't worry about it. I have a year to fix this, so I'm not going to let one or two meals stress me out.

This morning I am back to my oatmeal, honey, and fresh fruit for breakfast and Greek yogurt with honey and fresh fruit as a snack. Quinoa and black beans for lunch and an egg. I am glad to get back to eating this because they genuinely sound good to me.

So less fast food and more slow food. Less sitting on the couch and watching hours of Netflix. More walking around the neighborhood. Less wasting time and more enjoying time. I am still nervous about failing with food or Bible reading or any of the other things I have to do, but this is a good change. I can do this.

Friday, July 31, 2015

What the Doctor Said

I got a phone call from the lab tech at the doctor's office yesterday. It terrified me. I could let you guess why, but you probably wouldn't guess the what he said.

Photo caption: Eva Blue

My cholesterol is too high.

A part of me says, "Yeah, whose isn't?" I mean this a common thing that people deal with, so why did it terrify me? I'm not too sure. There is a history of heart disease in my family, so it is always something on my radar. I know I need to watch myself. However, that wasn't the entire issue. The lab tech also said something about a low fat diet. Diet? I can't do a diet. The second someone says you can't eat this, it is the only thing I want to eat. I refuse to go through life hating what I have to eat. Food should be enjoyed and I want to enjoy food as it should be. I don't want artificially enhanced or in some other way changed, like low fat chocolate or something else ridiculous. And maybe there was a little bit of self reflection that I wasn't ready for. Maybe I'm the unusual one or maybe there are others out there like me, but my emotional state has a drastic effect on my eating even when I don't realize it.

So I did what any self respecting person who needs information does, I googled it. I read a few articles about food that is good for cholesterol and I was encouraged. There are some easy fixes, like oats. I can have oatmeal for breakfast. It would be filling, good for cholesterol and something I don't have to think much about. Avocados, albacore tuna, olive oil, spinach, garlic, and black beans. I like those things too. I was encouraged. I can incorporate a few new recipes and they could make a difference. My husband has been thinking on some new dinner recipes as well. So it isn't just me trying to do this, we can do it.

Those recipes could also help me lose the weight I've been wanting to use. Of course that is a difficult proposition having hypothyroidism. Mine has been relatively well controlled for the last 5 years or so. I would like to think my consistently taking the medicine as it should be taken is a part of that. Even through my pregnancy with my daughter, it was fairly well controlled. I took it before bed because I was throwing up in the morning and my dosage had to be upped, but my numbers still stayed good. However after she was born, it was a different story. Those bleary eyed mornings meant lots of times that I forgot to take my medicine first thing. Like I've forgotten to take it probably once a week for the last 16 months. That's not really great. So I've moved the medicine bottle to my bedside table. So far (2 days), so good. Hopefully taking my medicine regularly will make the changes in diet useful. There is a small part of me that is afraid of a certain number on the scale. I have hit that number twice and had two kids. So it's kind of like a magic baby number, but I'm pretty happy with two babies. There is a much larger part that dreams of a number on the scale that makes me smile instead of shrugging and saying not bad. And maybe just maybe that number on the scale could be paired with food I really love on a regular basis.

I'm sure it doesn't seem like such a hard prospect for several of you out there who have taken your health seriously. But for me, I'm just not sure where to fit this new food into my schedule. Being a teacher is not your regular 9 to 5 job. Not to mention being a mother and wife. Making sure the homework gets done, and making sure each kid gets some mommy time after work, getting the dishes and laundry done, and making sure we get time with the larger family. Those are time consuming. Then you throw in church service, choir, youth leadership,etc. Blogging and reading are just for fun, but also terribly important for my own well being. My time is spoken for in many areas. The thought of adding in prep time for this new 'healthy' diet is overwhelming. I know there will be busy weeks and on those weeks, I wonder if I can find the time to make this new food. I doubt my ability to follow through and then there will be guilt to follow. To follow? I'm already feeling guilty about failing this new diet and I've hardly started. This isn't something I can fail at.

Of course I feel that everything I do is something that I can't fail at. Which leads me to the emotional issues tied to my eating and that will be another post.

Yesterday, I made a quinoa and black bean salad. It took me much longer than I expected because I used dried beans. However, I did and I learned a few things. I know how I can do it better next time. At the very least, I know I can have oatmeal,some black bean recipes, and salad. I am confident that I can get two of those things accomplished on a daily basis. Next week I have another appointment with the doctor. I'm assuming he will talk to me more about the specifics. I hope I'm prepared for that meeting. I will let you know next week.

Friday, July 10, 2015

What Are Christians Supposed To Do? (Part 2)

Last week I talked about my response to all of these 'issues' 'attacking' the Christian faith. And I have a few more ideas.

Primarily, I have had a revelation about relationships with Jesus. We claim that we want people to have a personal relationship with Jesus. However I think that is a misnomer. We don't want people to have a personal relationship with Jesus. We want them to have our relationship with Jesus. We want their faith to look like ours. We don't want them to have a personal relationship because their personal relationship doesn't include us. That makes us uncomfortable. We are so terribly worried that someone else might make a mistake that we attempt to insert ourselves into their faith. But that doesn't work. It really is a personal relationship. It is how they relate to Jesus and how He relates to them. It is a life long faith process that they walk through with Jesus beside them. I can't tell then how to be out how not to be. That is what Jesus does. I can't expect my experiences, opinions, and life to bring me to the same places that they are and vice versa. I have to let them live out their relationship with Jesus.

A related idea is that I often look at the temporal. I look at what is here and now. I look at what is right in front of me. However the God I serve is not temporal. He doesn't just look at what is right in front of me. He is eternal.  He is outside of time. He was, he is, and he will be. So I need look at the eternal as well. I need to understand there is a big picture. It doesn't all have to be fixed right now. God has a plan and the plan is longer than my attention span.

Trust his plan and his timing and his relationship with those other people. And focus on my relationship with Him, my reaction to His timing, and my involvement in His plan. Less me, more Jesus.

Friday, July 3, 2015

A Girl and Her Body

Photo Credit: RafalZych

With summer upon us, swim wear distress has begun. As Ben gets older, he has more friends, we are invited to more summer events, including swim events. This brings my old nemesis back to the forefront, swim wear. Can I get an amen?

Growing up, we went on vacation where swimming was available. So swim wear was a necessity. Every year I struggled to find something to fit me right. I had bikinis, tankinis, and one pieces over the years. I didn't like any of them. I picked the one that made me feel the least crappy about myself. Feeling good about myself in swim wear wasn't even going to happen. Bikinis showed my stomach which wasn't flat enough. One pieces showed my thighs which were too big. Tankinis could be paired with shorts and cover all the ugly flabby parts. However, the patterns weren't very pretty which left me feeling like a big geek who couldn't possibly fit in with any group. In all these struggles, I was so very blessed that no adult in my life put any pressure on me about the swim wear decisions I had to make.

I wish I could say that some piece of sage advice along the way eased every fear and negative thing I would tell myself. But I never even asked for advice because I didn't want confirmation of how wrongly shaped my body was. I didn't want to have to say my flaws out loud. I have said many of these things to my husband over the years as I have become frustrated with shorts, swim wear and any other number of clothing items.  He has assured me of my beauty and sympathized with me about the mean old clothing manufactures. And yet it was a comment only a couple weeks ago from a few parents at church that helped me more than anything else ever has. We were discussing the difficulties of finding swim wear for a tall daughter and another daughter that wanted shorts. Another woman even mentioned a place that was selling long torso swim suits. It is the swim suit that doesn't fit me. It isn't me that doesn't fit the suit! It isn't that my proportions are all wrong. It is the suit that isn't long enough and pulls down in the wrong places and up in wrong places.

No matter swim wear I choose it does not define the correctness of my body.

My body has been fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator of the Universe. I no longer need to feel ashamed by the shape of this or the size of that. I don't need to fear if I look acceptable to others. I don't need to fear if they notice this flaw or that flaw. We all have flaws, but we also all have our beauty as well.

And more important than our physical attributes, we are all interesting and lovely people on the inside. And the more lovely we are on the inside, three more lovely we are on the outside.

I will no longer allow myself to be defined by the way I look in a swim suit or the size of that swim suit or the shape of that suit. I will no longer allow myself to be shamed by the media, stupid people (smart people don't shame anyone), or my own negative self talk. I will not only accept my body, but I will love it. I am going to celebrate who I am inside and out.

I don't think this post would be complete without discussing me as a mother. What will I do to help Lily not deal with this for 35 years? I am not going to talk to her about her body. I will talk to her about what her body can do. I will talk to her about how the clothes fit her or compliment her. The subject will be her ability or the clothes. The subject will not be her body. I will also do encourage her to ask questions and talk about her feelings. And I will pray a lot.

These human bodies that we have been stuck with are difficult and the world we live in is broken. Lord help us love more.

Monday, June 29, 2015

What Are Christians Supposed To Do? (Part 1)

Photo Credit: Damien du Toit

The events of the last week have brought much passionate discussion and intense debate. Both the rainbow flag and the Rebel flag have been critiqued. I have remained relatively quiet on both topics. I have explained what I understand about various sides of the issues to those who were asking and open to discussion. So relatively quiet. I have had no Facebook statuses or pictures to declare my opinion. However, I do not live under a rock. I have read what many have had to say. A few of those people have had thought provoking posts. One of those posts got me to thinking.

What if I have misunderstood my mission as a Christian for years?

I have felt as a Christian it is my mission to tell people the right way to live in an effort to proclaim the Gospel, lead people to Jesus, and bring glory to God. I try to do it with genuine love and gentleness, but none the less I felt that is what I was to do in my personal relationships with others. What if that isn't the way I should be proclaiming the Gospel, leading people to Jesus, and bringing glory to God? I know Micah 6:8, act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God. I know John 15:12, love each other as God has loved me. I know Matthew 22:37-39, love God with all my heart, my soul, my mind, and my strength. and love my neighbor as I love myself. Those seem pretty clear about the mission of a Christian. Love.

What if I am supposed to love everyone and let Jesus deal with their sins? What if the way I bring glory to God and lead people to Jesus and proclaim the Gospel is to love people like Jesus loved?

I'm not saying to give people a pass on their sins. Jesus didn't do that. He told the woman at the well about her sins and proclaimed himself as the Messiah. He told the woman who was caught in adultery to go and sin no more. He didn't tell either of them that it was okay to keep doing what they had always done. He did confront them with their sin, but he did it in such a way that encouraged them to change. He only spoke the woman at the well about her sins AFTER they had begun talking about spiritual issues. In the case of the adulteress, he sent the condemning crowd away from her and spoke to her one on one about her issues. So maybe I've been doing it wrong. Maybe I'm supposed to love and let Jesus work on the heart. Then if someone comes to me and asks about living like Jesus, then I discuss in gentleness and love their sins and the way to be free of them. Maybe I need to stop thinking "Look what this world is coming to" and instead think like the early church "Look what has come into the world." Expect the world to sin and be messed up and love them anyway because Jesus has come to take care of the messy sinful heart issues. I'm just here to love and only after seeking more, then am I to tell people the right way to live.

As the pastor said this morning, lost people are going to act like lost people, so there is no reason to be angry or judgmental about it. Christ is sufficient to cover those issues with those people in His time. I must try to live like Jesus, not endorsing, supporting, or condoning the sin, but not being angry or judgmental about it either. Love them and let Jesus deal with the sin.

In answer to my question in the title, Christians are supposed to love first.

NOTE: If you feel the need to discuss my personal opinions on either of the two major issues mentioned at the outset of this post, feel free to message me privately and we can discuss it. My personal opinions do not need to be aired publicly. Thank you.

Friday, June 12, 2015

To My Former Students

Last night was graduation. I haven't been a participant of graduation in several years. I had forgotten how emotional it can be, especially when some your favorites are graduating. (Yes teachers have favorites. The list is just longer than most expect.) As I drove home I started reflecting back on my 12 years teaching.

Photo Credit: Deapeajay

I realized that some of the first students I taught are approaching their 3rd decade. I can't believe it has been that long. Even though many years have passed I still think about my "kids". So for the graduates of 2003 and for the graduates of 2015 and all of those in between, I wanted to send you a message.


You are important. You aren't forgotten.

It may have only been 10 days since I've had you in class and it may have been 10 years. I still remember you. I still think about you sometimes. Once you have been one of my "kids", you will always be one of my "kids". I still worry about you. Not because I don't think you are capable, but because life is harsh. I worry that life will be harsh with you. I don't want you to have to suffer. But if you do, let it make you a stronger and better person.

You are successful!

I see the amazing people you are growing into and I am proud. So many of you have made amazing decisions. You have decided to love people even when it is hard. You have family that you are putting first and defending against the slings and arrows of life. I know some of you are stuck in jobs and wondering where your career is. I don't have any answers. Just know that I see your struggles and I believe in you to make a good decision. Some of you are stuck without a relationship and wondering where your other half is. Don't find another half. Be a whole you and wait for the right whole person to show up that makes your life better. Some of you are in college. Keep working hard and I know it is HARD. But the hard work pays off and the results are worth it. To all of you, don't be afraid to take risks, but count the cost before you take the risk. Make sure it is worth it.

I thank you for the joy have brought to my life. I also thank you for helping me grow into a better teacher and a better person.

Mostly, I still love you all. 

And I know some of my former students aren't here to read this. I still think about them too. I miss them. And I love them too.

Friday, June 5, 2015

What I want

A new phone
New flooring in my house
A pretty front porch
My preferred teaching schedule
Some new Jamberrys
A couple new Scentsy warmers
A new pair of flats
A new pair of boots
A new skirt
A new dress

I'm sure there is more. And of all those things on that list, I need exactly none of them. But I'm having a very serious case of the "I wannas".

My husband's phone bit the dust last night, so he is getting an upgrade. And I'm jealous!

There is a house near mine for sale. Of course I found it online and looked at pictures. It has great flooring and a super cute front porch. And I want it!

The end of the school year brings thoughts of the coming year. I have big plans for a paperless classroom with lots of Project Based Learning. And that seems within my reach. However the schedule it seems I will get is not the best for me in my mind. And I'm freaking out.

Jamberry, Scentsy, shoes, skirts, and dresses are just more things that I think will make my life better. And I want them.

Have you noticed a theme? What I want. What is best for me. Me, myself, and I.

Lord, help me keep my selfish heart in check. Remind me of all that you have given me. Help me look to the best of others before I look to what is best for me. Amen.

Photo Credit: Proverbs 31 ministries

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Finding the Source of Nourishment, Again.















Photo Credit: David Sanabria


In the last few weeks, I have had a bit of a revelation. I have been stuck in a negative rut lately. Carl had some thoughts on negativity too. He's noticing something I have noticed recently too. Some people work at being negative. They can't or won't see the positive. I have seen that multiple times this week. I then started to wonder how many times have I not seen it? How many times have I been so entrenched in my own negative thinking that I didn't notice the negativity of others?

Oooh. That was a scary thought.

The other thing I have noticed recently is a group of people that really blessed me in the last few weeks, the parents of my son's soccer team. This year was the first time that Ben played a team sport. It was a fabulous experience! He had an awesome coach that really worked the boys to improve their soccer skills and celebrated what they learned. One coach doing a great job may not have been something so incredible, but the parents all joined in. We cheered for the boys and girls on both teams who made plays. We cheered for the boys on our team that learned to get in there an challenge for the ball. We cheered for the boys that learned how to tackle and how to save a goal. We cheered. We laughed. We just enjoyed each other's company and each other's children. We fed off of each other's positivism.

That was a wonderful feeling.

These two experiences so close together have made an impression on me. I need to be careful who I surround myself with. In some cases, I don't necessarily have a choice. However, I do have a choice about the amount of time I spend with them and the amount of their words to which I am listening. I need to protect my half full cup!

There is negativity that lives in minds of us all, but we don't have to feed it. I need to be more careful about who I am allowing to feed my mind. I can't let excuses of being tired, being busy, being a mom, being a wife, being involved at church, etc. overwhelm the person God is calling me to be. I need to be focusing on God and letting him be my primary source of nourishment. I have been depending on others for far too long. It's time I start looking The Source instead.

And feel free to call our if I'm doing anything different!

Friday, May 15, 2015

What My Ancestors Can Teach Me

Recently, I've been rather addicted to the show Who Do You Think You Are?. There are episodes from the UK and South Africa. When I run out of US episodes, I watch some from the UK and South Africa. I'm certain there is quite a bit of staging involved. These people didn't just randomly happen upon this one relative who has an amazing story. However, the stories themselves are real stories of real people. So a few weeks ago I got a trial account from Ancestry.com and looked to see what I could find. As it turns out I could find a LOT of stuff!

Photo Credit: Scott Ableman


A few quick facts: I am lots of English and lots of German. I am a bit French, Dutch, Irish, and Native American. And more than those discoveries, I found that out most of the branches of my family extend back before the Revolutionary War. I am very American and have been for a very long time. I also found out that I have a pirate in my lineage. He barely escaped a slave revolt in the Caribbean which took the lives of his wife and two children. That should probably make me sad, but he was a pirate, so I don't know what else he expected to happen. He came back to America and found a new wife which lead to a new family. There were various DAR records, which leads me to believe that a few fought in the Revolutionary War. I found the name of the Cherokee, Wood Trailkiller Pack, who had been rumored to be in the family tree. I also uncovered another ancestor that might be a Native American. I found large numbers of ancestors that were from Virginia and North Carolina. A few that were from New York and New Jersey, but those found their way down south as well. I found a woman that became a Quaker after her first husband, my relative, died. That made me proud. From what I understand, she was charged with a crime because she didn't get married the 'proper' way. I think she got married the Quaker way which wasn't acceptable. I am so proud that she stood for her faith. She believed in equality of the sexes and of the races. I cling to the hope that more relatives are like her and less like her son. I found that he was a slave owner. I think it was only two. I really just want to go back in time and rage at him. They were human beings! Didn't he know that? He could have made another choice. He could have made a better choice. I haven't the courage to look at who may have fought where in the Civil War.

The most exciting person I found was Thomas Farmer. Thomas Farmer came to Jamestown in 1616. He was considered an Ancient Planter. He came over as an indentured servant and was eventually given land by the Governor of the colony. I am amazed that my ancestors have been in America for nearly 400 years. I am simply amazed at how 'American' I am. I suppose that explains why I am so interested in US History and passionate about how we are presenting ourselves at Americans. I am amazed at how this man could have left everything he knew to come to the whole other side of the world knowing he probably wouldn't ever be 'home' again. That must have taken a great amount of courage and stamina. And not only did him come halfway across the world, he came knowing he would have to work for someone else. He wouldn't even have his own land, but he came anyway. And now here we are 400 years later a rather successful happy American family. I can't say that I know what Thomas' goals were in coming to the New World, but I think it is something like what we enjoy today.

In the minimum amount of investigation I did, I found people I was proud of as well as people who I was ashamed of. I guess that is what family is really like. I found rumors that turned out to be real. I also uncovered people that we had no idea were a part of our family.

It seems crazy to think that something that happened so long ago could actually have an influence in my life today. But part of me understands why the land of North Carolina feels so familiar. I understand why I am so passionate about who America is. I understand why I love bratwurst and why I think the Union Jack is pretty amazing. Maybe that's over stating it a little. However learning this history of my family has impacted how I understand who I am.

Now I wonder what other stories these names and dates hold. I guess I have a lifetime to find that out.

Friday, May 8, 2015

More Ramblings on Identity: My Daughter and I

Let me start this by saying I am such a judgmental person. Most of the time the words stay in my head, but they still come. So yes I am a judgmental person. The other day I was dropping my son off and my judgmental opinions reared their ugly head. There was a perfectly coiffed and fabulously put together mother dropping off her daughter. I was rather sloppily thrown together and needing to wash my hair. (It's been a long week.) Her daughter had a sleek bob. It was blonde, but seemed to have some brunette underneath. I wondered if that was natural or it was dyed. Then I wondered if that mother would dye her daughter's hair. And that led to several other thoughts.



Eventually these thoughts led me wondering about the identity I'm helping to create for my daughter. I'm not a girly girl. I do make up every now and then. Actually since writing this, I'm doing make up more than I used to. I do a little something with my hair, but spend very little time on it. I don't think I'm going to change much. I just find other things more important to spend my time on and thankfully my husband agrees with me. I'm relatively pleased with myself as a woman. I will admit that too often I feel like I have to choose between sleep, reading, or prettying myself up time. I think most women of young children would agree.

And that brings me back to my daughter. The type of woman she sees me being will influence the type of woman she becomes. I don't spend much time on myself and my 'look'. So I figure it is safe to assume I won't spend much time on hers either. Is that what I should do for her? Is that being a good mother? Or should I spend more time on her 'look'?

I'm not sure if this makes any sense, but suffice it to say that being the mother of a girl isn't easy. It has me wondering about many things about myself, women, and my daughter.



 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Life: Just About Now

I don't want the week to go by without saying anything here. I have a few blog post ideas running through my head, but neither of them are ready for publication yet. In an ideal world, I would have time to sit, think, and write. Then a great post would emerge. However, that has not happened yet this week. Nor will it happen today. So here I am writing a post about why I can't write a post. So I'll just tell you a few things about my life right at this moment.



Ben is downstairs playing with his Lego's. I'm so glad we have that space for him to play down there, so we don't have to step on them and so he can feel like something is his special space.

Lily is in the kitchen playing with pots and pans that she pulled out of the cabinet. She is in to everything and it is exhausting! But I wouldn't have my little explorer any other way.

Drew is playing a video game that Ben abandoned halfway through. He finished a monster load of dishes earlier, which is his least favorite chore. He knew I was stressing about it, so he did them for me. I love that man!

I'm thinking about a couple special friends. One just had a beautiful baby girl and now gets to be a SAHM of two. I know how happy she is about that and I'm happy for her. Another friend found out she was pregnant this week after a long hard road of trying. I'm so happy for their family.

Yesterday we went to a book fair at Ben's school. I picked up a couple more books. They were buy one get one free, so it was my duty to get a couple. My list of books I'm dying to read is now much higher than the time I have available to read. Oh the problems of a book worm.

I put in a Scentsy order this morning. I have been able to put in at least one order every month for the last several months. I'm so pleased that I can do this for fun and not take too much time. I'm also pleased that my house, laundry, hands, etc. always smells so amazing!

I have managed to carve out a few hours the last couple weeks to enjoy some wonderful Disney movies. And for fun I've started taking pictures of those movies and adding quotes to it. Then I post them on Instagram. I believe that means I'm making Disney 'edits'. So if you follow me on Instagram and you aren't excited about it, I guess you'll have to start getting excited. I'm not going to be only doing edits, but I'm going to post some every so often for fun.

There are some lovely flowers blooming in my yard, so every time I go outside I get to smile. They are one fabulous benefit to spring.

 While both kids are playing nicely and the chores are done, I believe I'm going to make a cup of coffee and read a few pages from those books I mentioned. Life is pretty good.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Ramblings on Identity

One of the benefits of teaching high school is spirit days. Once or twice a year there are several days with various themes. This week is spirit week at the high school where I teach. Tuesday was Culture Day. In the last few years I have sharply limited my wardrobe, so I don't have many dress up clothes. This called for some creative thinking. So I was going to represent a subculture, punk. I got red hair paint and a t-shirt from my husband. I pulled out my make up and bobby pins and got to work. I rarely do my hair and make up and certainly never with an end goal in mind. I was a bit concerned about how it would turn out. In the end I had nothing to worry about. I did a pretty great job. (I did not do such a great job on the photo.)



When I was done, I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, "I could get used to this." I really liked the way it looked. It felt like this is really me. If I didn't have to live up to the expectations of family, friends, co-workers, etc., then I would dress like this more often. A part of me thinks that is really annoying and wants to rebel against expectations. However I realize that I wouldn't want to pay for that many salon visits or the make up. The part that really makes me the saddest is my son's response to me yesterday. He didn't want to look at me because my eye makeup was 'weird'. Also he asked if I could 'paint my hair brown' when I got home. So even if I got over my frugality and fear of disappointing people, my son wouldn't like it. I know he's 6. Most 6 year olds and him in particular don't like change. And if I did it long enough he would get used to it and tell me I look beautiful, like he does on normal days. So it isn't a permanent thing and it isn't a judgment against me, it is him being 6. However it still makes me sad. It leaves me wondering. Who am I really? Is that person okay for my current cultural settings? Do people like me or my presentation of me?

I know that those closest to my heart, already know that the crazy hair and make up suits me. They wouldn't expect anything less. And I love you so much for giving me that freedom to be myself crazy looks and all.

Last week I took two tests which if I pass will allow me to teach English. I was nervous about the tests at first. As studying time went on I came up with several fun ideas and started getting excited about it. In fact, I'm still excited about it. I haven't found out my scores yet, but I feel good about them. I also feel good about the possibility of becoming an English teacher at my current high school. At some point in the excitement, I started wondering why I was excited. A new challenge is exciting for me.

So then has my current work become stale and not challenging? Evidently it has. Why? Because I wasn't challenging myself. (And I have a plan to fix that for my Spanish classes.) So does that make me the type of person who needs a challenge to be really engaged in what I'm doing? I guess so. Does that mean I'm someone who can't be satisfied with where I am? Um... I hope not, but maybe. I don't want to be that kind of a person. I want to be someone who is satisfied with where God has put me. I don't want to need a change to excite me about life. On the other hand, I don't want to be so satisfied that I stop reaching for better.

Maybe I'm thinking too deeply into an outfit and a test, but that's just who I am.


Friday, April 10, 2015

Reading is Life

Social media is amazing for lots of reasons. One of the primary reasons is that it connects us to our favorite things online. One of my favorite things: Reading!

Photo Credit: erin m


I read glanced at an article that was something about falling in love with reading. I looked over the list and could not come up with a book that made me fall in love with reading. I couldn't remember a time that I didn't love reading. I vaguely remember running to my room to pick up as many books as I could carry to bring to my Mamaw to read to me. She sat there for as long as I wanted to read to me. I couldn't even read them yet. I was about 3. She had tons of books at her house too. Her book shelf was the first place I would go. I grew up watching my mom reading. I would even read the cereal box just to have something to read.

Reading has been with me longer than Jesus has been with me.

That was a rather stunning thought to me. I accepted Jesus at 15, so I've been with him for about 20 years. That seems forever, but I do remember my years before Jesus. I don't remember my years before reading and books. I remember Cabbage Patch books were my favorites as a toddler. I then fell in love with the Boxcar Children. Wuthering Heights and Jane Austen were my favorites in junior high and high school. I still have several Cabbage Patch books, a couple Boxcar Children, and a Jane Austen novel as well. My Kindle is full. I have two library cards that are fairly well used. My books shelves are overflowing.

It is safe to say that I love reading.

It is a comfort to me when I'm stressed.
It is a vacation for me when I can't take one.
It is a teacher for my soul.
It introduces me to new friends.
It shows me new ways of living.

Reading is life and it has been for as long as I can remember.

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Tensions of Today

This morning I find myself with a few extra minutes. I have work today, but my son doesn't have school. So I'm not getting him ready or preparing lunches. So I'm sitting down to write. I have an idea that has been percolating, but I don't think I'm ready to write about it yet. That leaves me with a few random thoughts to throw at you


Photo Credit: Adrian Berg

Today is the end of the quarter and I have one more day to hound students for missing work. Some teachers don't allow late work and some do. There's always a tension between crediting them for doing the work and teaching them responsibility. I think it is a tension that most teachers feel.

Today is the last day before Spring Break. People have asked if we are doing anything special and the answer is no. Mostly because we are both so tired. Careers, choir, youth work, soccer practice, birthdays, holidays, extended family obligations, and raising two kids have left us feeling like we are coming to the end of a long and very tiring marathon. Spring Break for us will hopefully be a time to relax and decompress. It will also be a time to study. I have a test coming up in a couple weeks and study time has been limited. Hopefully Spring Break will provide some study opportunities. There is a tension between helping out and having personal time. I'm not sure that I'm successfully finding a space in that tension.

Today is Good Friday. Some students will not be there today due to religious observances. Some people might be offended that there is school today. I am going to be there and I'm not offended by it. I'm actually thinking there might be the opportunity for some wonderful conversations today. I'm loooking forward to it. If I wasn't working today, I would probably just stay home. I don't have much of an opportunity to share with people why this day is important for me if I'm just at home watching TV. However if I'm at work, I have lots of colleagues to share with. The more people I am around today, the better the chance to share my faith in an authentic way. (And it is totally fine if you do not agree with me.) Today there is a tension between honoring Jesus and sharing Jesus.

So I'm tired, but hopeful and trying to find a comfortable space between the tensions of life. How are you today?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

How Not to Write a Title

So it has been two weeks since I wrote anything. I have been so busy! I would love to say that I was busy with some important thing. Honestly, I'm busy teaching and trying to keep the house clean. There is a little bit of homework and soccer practice in there plus extra choir practice for the Easter Cantata.

I have also been wasting time with Netflix because after all of the above stuff, I really don't have the energy to do fun stuff, like reading and blogging. And I've been missing it. I'm in desperate need of time to sit and read. I have been reading some great blogs and thinking why couldn't I do that. The answer is that I haven't been paying attention to the things in my life worth writing about.

So I now have two paragraphs about not having anything to write about. I had probably better give you something useful, hence the title. To be honest, I hate writing titles. I'm not sure how I got college having virtually no experience in writing titles. I had some awesome English teachers who taught me so much about writing, reading, analyzing text, and life. For all that greatness, I didn't learn about writing titles. I'm not saying they didn't teach it because they probably did. I didn't learn it, so I arrived in college and saw everyone titling their papers. I was horrified because I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. And I was an honor student! I couldn't go ask anyone for help. So, I stumbled through as best I could.

Today I'm still stumbling. And these are the common mistakes that I find myself making:

Capitalize the wrong words
Don't capitalize words
Use too many words
Use too few words
Use confusing words
Create a non-descript title
Create a forgettable title.


I would love to tell you how to make it better, but I have no clue. I am open to your suggestions. What can you teach me about writing titles?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Happy Birthday Lily!!

I can't believe my little girl turns 1 on Sunday. It really doesn't seem like we have been through all the holidays, Easter, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day and all the others. It doesn't seem like she's old enough to be eating solid foods and getting rid of her bottle. I can't believe she is in 18 month clothing. I can't believe we had to change out her car seat already. Wow her first year went fast and eerily easy.

She isn't walking yet, but she is close. She has 6 teeth now and loves picking up her food to eat it. She just learned to throw her hands in the air and say, "Yay." She is not fond of baths and hates getting her diaper changed. She won't leave headbands on and almost has enough hair to clip a bow in it. She hates being in layers, but hates being cold even more.

She is full of personality. She thinks her brother is the greatest thing since sliced bread. She is not a cuddler. She loves to clutch at your shirt when she's falling asleep. She does not lay on your shoulder. She must be cradled if you want her to go to sleep. She hates being woken up because it scares her. When she gets up in the morning, she often bounces, talks, and giggles until you pick her up. When you pick her up, she grabs on to your shoulder and turns her head away from you. She is ready to go discover the world.

Happy Birthday Lilyanne! You have been so much fun this year. We look forward to discovering God is making you to be.


Andrea Ward's Slidely by Slidely Slideshow

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How to Be a Better Person

Photo Credit: jill, jellidonut ... whatever

Continuing on the idea of prayer from the last post, I have been making a concerted effort to pray more throughout the day. I have already noticed some differences. My life is better when I remember to pray for those who are really suffering. I am nicer to people when I remember to talk to the Lover of my Soul. I doubt myself less because it is about me less. I have more confidence in what I'm doing because the Creator of the Universe is doing it with me.

This morning I thought to send an encouraging email. I haven't done that in a while. I haven't been very encouraging in person or by email. I was thinking that some people might think I was being contradictory, saying one thing and doing another. I started wondering why I could be positive and encouraging by myself, but with others I tend towards negativity. I thought I'm better by myself than with people, but that makes it sound like I'm good enough. I know that isn't true. So what is the difference?

Jesus

I have been praying more. I have been spending more time with Jesus. I'm taking my cues from Him instead of other people. So it isn't that I'm better by myself. It is that I'm better with Jesus.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Missing Piece

Some seasons life comes easy. The laundry is in a manageable routine. Sleep actually comes at bedtimes. You are happy with who you are and how you are getting there.

Then some seasons life is hard. The laundry is never done. Sleep doesn't come until hours after bedtimes. You aren't happy and you don't know why. You aren't getting to a better place emotionally, spiritually, mentally, or any other way.

Photo Credit: Steve Jurvetson


Lately I feel like I've been in the latter of the two. Work is going well. I have a lot to do and February is always a hard month because we can all see the end coming, but it isn't close enough to start that final hard push yet. However, I'm pushing myself to keep going forward and I'm doing my best to push my students to keep moving forward. So it's going well. Everyone around is pretty healthy and that is a huge blessing because everyone's health could be so much worse. But the other parts of life, the keeping house and raising the kids and doing church, just aren't working. It's not like things are going wrong, but they don't feel like they are going right. So if it feels not right, but isn't actually not right, then it's all in my head. And that makes it so much worse.

I look at other people and they look like they have it all together. They know who they are and where they are going. And I'm over here wandering from thing to thing, from word to word. I doubt most of what I'm doing and most of what I'm saying. I don't know how to get from where I am to where I need to be.

So in the middle of this spiral of self-doubt and general malaise, I stopped and thought about what is different now than before. Prayer. I haven't been praying enough. I haven't been spending enough time with God. I need to more time with me and God, so I can work on me and God. When I focus more on him, then I'll focus less on everyone else. I think that falls in line with my One Word of the year. I guess God knew what he was doing by giving me that word for this year.

So if you wouldn't mind, would you say a prayer for me. How can I pray for you?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Top 15 Disney Movies

The last couple weeks I have talked about some of the things I have learned in the last few difficult years. And I might come back to that topic at a later point in time, but today I want to talk about something lighter and more fun. Disney movies!

Photo Credit: Ohdearbarb
I am a bit obsessed with them and I'm super excited that I have a daughter, so I have an excuse to get all the Disney princess movies. I got others with Ben, but I couldn't in good conscience get my son princess movies. He didn't even know they were different people until recently! So now with a little girl, I have invested in some new princess movies and made myself watch a few that I missed. So in honor of my new Disney education and investment, I'm doing a top 15 countdown of my favorite Disney movies. (I couldn't narrow it down further than that.) I'm not including Pixar because that is a whole other list. I'm also not including any sequels. These are just the major motion picture releases. Now on to the countdown!

1. Beauty and the Beast

I love Belle. I love that she reads. I love that she doesn't fit in. I love that her dad is so quirky and ready to go show the world what he knows. I love the Beast. I love that he is working through his issues. I love to hate Gaston! Cogsworth is wonderfully persnickety. Lumiere loves to push Cogsworth's buttons. Madame la Gran Bouche is fabulously open. Ha!

2. Treasure Planet

Some of the creatures speak flatulence! Oh my goodness!! They fly in schooners around the universe looking for treasure and discovering that friends are the best treasure. The personalities! The history mixed with futuristic fantasy.

3. Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Image result for bedknobs and broomsticks
This picture just might be my favorite part of the movie. Trachuna Machoitius Trachorum Saetis Dee. Angela Landsbury is in this movie and she is commanding an armor army. They go flying on a bed underneath the sea. It is absolutely fabulous.

4. Mulan

I just watched this movie this week. I don't know how I waited this long to watch this movie. Now I have and it made it to the top 5. She saves China and the emperor honors her. Then she goes home and her parents love her for being her. Oh, I just love this one.

5. Princess and the Frog

You would think a movie about frogs wouldn't be that great, but this one is. Tiana is hard working and determined.

6. Frozen
We all know that the whole world is obsessed with this movie and I am one of them. The music, the sisters, a reindeer, the subtle romance and a funny snowman. What is not to love?


7. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
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The very blustery day, the house for Eyeore, and the first appearance of Tigger are so iconic to me. I don't remember a time when I didn't know those stories. This one really makes me feel like a kid again.

8. Lilo and Stitch
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I love this one more as a mother than when it first came out. Ben is head over heels in love with this one, so I am too.

9. Alice in Wonderland
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The talking flowers, painting the roses red, the Mad Hatter, and the White Rabbit are just too perfect. They are so perfectly fantastical that I still can't wait to visit Wonderland.

10. Hocus Pocus
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The fact that I just figured out Thackery Binks and Timothy McGee are the same person just make this movie better. It is a beautiful setting and a quaint story. It is a lovely Halloween story with a great performance from Bette Midler!

11. Tangled
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The hair, the smolder, the lanterns! And that is just the tip of the iceberg. Rapunzel's talents, her frying pan, her way with horses, and The Snuggly Duckling just make this one fun and heartwarming, which are Disney specialties.

12. Mary Poppins
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The songs, the cannons, and a happy family in the end. Oh and Dick Van Dyke!

13. The Princess Diaries
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It is every little girl's dream and somehow we are happier for Mia than we would be for ourself. And Genovia is on my list of places to visit too.

14. Sleeping Beauty
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Dancing with forrest creatures that turn into the prince who is your betrothed and who slays vicious dragon enchhntresses for you is still a great story after all these years. And should you get tired of the story, watch it for the art. It is worth it.

15. Robin Hood
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Oh what a lovely man-fox. He gives to others out of the goodness of his heart and his love for the community. I think we all could learn from him.

Honorable mention:

My favorite sequel:
D2: The Mighty Ducks
Image result for d2 the mighty ducks the bash brothers
I had such a crush on these two! I saw this movie at least 25 times one school year. Yes that obsessed. I started watching hockey because of this movie. And I think it is better than the first or the third.

My favorite Disney TV show that was based on a movie:
The Legend of Tarzan
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This isn't the movie, but I like the movie because it reminds me of the TV show. It was a great show. The good guys were always good. The bad guys were always bad. And the community was of primary importance.

Almost on the list for the score alone:
The Little Mermaid
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I can't say that Ariel is one of my preferred princesses or that Eric is a preferred prince. The story isn't my favorite. But the music! Now that is special.