Recently I was entrusted with a Milk Weed Caterpillar.  For those of you that know your caterpillars, this becomes a Monarch Butterfly.  This caterpillar was tiny.  No bigger than the size a the end of a pencil lead.  I was not so sure I was going to be able to successfully bring this little guy to complete it’s life cycle.  Well, I can report that I was able to with the help of my little ladies and lots of dedication to feed this sweat beast (the girls named it Pilly) he made his way out of his chrysalis and I am reminded of God’s miracles.  How in the world does this happen.  There is really no explanation that can make sense in my head that takes this Pilly

and after transformation can make this

without understanding God’s grace, creative beauty, and the concept of resurrection!  God is truly amazing and there is no other explanation but knowing that God is in control and that He makes all things good…It may take time, it may be a process and we may even have to be “melted down and chemically changed” in order to live fully as we are meant to. Thank you Pilly for reminding me of God’s mercy and grace on this tough season in our life!


Kids and Coping

Isn’t it true that even adults have a hard time finding what works in terms of coping with difficult situations in life.  It is a challenge because what works one time might not work the next.  We are in constant search of healthy ways to make ourselves feel better when we are stressed.  Our society generally goes to things like having a drink, eating something unhealthy, watching TV, and the list could go on and on.  All of these things in moderation are certainly just fine ways to get through something difficult.  However, longer term, I found myself asking, “what could I do and what could I teach both my own children and the children I teach ways to help deal with difficult situations that might actually help with positive forward movement with the situation?”  What a huge question!  I still do not have the answer!  However, there are things we can do that can certainly get us closer…

  1. Take deep breathes.
    • This is helping my 4 year old in ways I never imagined.  When she falls and injures herself, when her feelings are hurt, when she is worried, when she is sensitive, etc….  She looks at my with giant eyes and she begins to deeply breathe.  This has helped her regain regulation 100% of the time she has tried it.
  1. Count to 10.
    • Counting helps us go from our emotions to our rational thinking. In order to think about counting, you have to leave the emotional for a minute, gaining regulation.
  2. Take a walk.
    • Walking can help release positive feelings in our bodies. It can also help us gain perspective that this place we are in is a small part of the whole.
  3. Pray.
    • For me this can be hard. I can find myself in a cycle of telling myself reasons why praying won’t work.  I don’t deserve it.  I make so many mistakes. My problem is ridiculous. God doesn’t listen to me anyway.  I am here to tell you that every single time I have pushed through this, I have been shown how this is the devil keeping me from what God desires for me and God has come through!  Not always how I want or in my time but He knows what is best.
  4. Talk to someone with the focus of possible solutions.
    • It is so easy to talk to someone else and stay stuck in the “ickyness” of how we feel. Sometimes this can even take a turn for the worst and making it feel bigger or harder.  When you focus on solutions, it gives hope to a difficult situation.  Maybe none of the solutions work or maybe they are even far fetched, but the reality is they give you hope to try something to change the current situation.

We can teach this to our children.  They need us to teach them this.

A Note to Parents (of children with special needs)

Dear Parent:

You are enough.

Your child is amazing.

You don’t need me to tell you this.  But sometimes, you need to hear it.  With the crazy obsession for perfection in our society, I am feeling compelled to tell you that what is most important is that your child knows they are significant and they are loved and that you know that you are showing them this each and every day.  We all have moments.  We all have days, or months, or even years, where we feel like we are blowing it.  Look at the smiles or the sunshine in their eyes.  You were entrusted with this child because you can do it.

I do not know everything.  I am not a parent of a child who has special needs (as society sees special needs).  I am a teacher that cares about children who have special needs.  I am a person that sees the worth in every human and wants each to know their value, however that might happen.  We all have special needs.  We all have a purpose. The most important difference we can make as people is to smile at each other, to show kindness in everything we do,  to build positive relationships with those we spend time and through that we all can become our best.

children around the world



Back to School

How can it be?

We are getting ready for back to school time in our house!

The girls are both excited and hesitant to return to school.  The last two summers have been different than ever before.  I changed my career and became a teacher!  With this change, that means that I get to be with my girls everyday all summer long!  We all cherish this time like I never imagined!  I knew it would be great, but I also knew that it would come with it’s own struggles….However, I am happy to report the struggles are nil.  We rest, we explore, we play, we cook, we dance, we imagine, we swim, we bike, we live, we enjoy…. the list could go on and on!  Having said all that, going back to school is a little hard on all of us!

The countdown begins…

…because of my desire to wish it wasn’t time I have successfully procrastinated all there is to be done:

  • Supply shopping
  • clothes shopping
  • back to school nights and meet the teachers
  • getting routines back in order
  • reviewing important skills
  • Getting important things scheduled on the calendar
  • Readying my own classroom
  • and the list could go on and on….


Essential Oils are Essential!

I have recently happened upon essential oil goodness.  I am a teacher in a special education setting and work with children with behavioral and emotional disabilities.  I randomly ordered a diffuser with several different oils and thought, “what the heck, let’s give this a try!”  Honestly……… this was one of the best things I did!  I experimented with many different blends of the oils and watched the way it transformed my classroom.  I had students who could not concentrate and struggled to have a calm body become relaxed and seemingly at peace with the oils filling the air.  As people entered my classroom, most would comment on the pleasant smell but also noted how peaceful it made the room feel!  Now, I am not saying that the essential oils solved all my classroom issues or that it is a miracle cure but I am saying that using essential oils along with positive relationships, consistency and high expectations, my classroom has only benefited from diffusing essential oils…. thus making them ESSENTIAL!

I have since ordered another diffuser and oils and have this running in my home.  My own girls are positively impacted by them and enjoy experimenting with the smells and way it makes them feel!