I have been very sick the past week, and haven't been able to do much writing. So instead of a regular post today I thought I would share some pictures. So I spent this morning looking back through some Halloween and Fall pictures for the last few years. Enjoy!
Halloween Year 1: 2008- 3 months old:
Halloween Year 2: 1 year old
Halloween Year 3: 2 year old
Halloween Year 4: 3 years old (broken foot :-( )
Halloween 5: 4 years old: These pics are from Trunk or Treat, but I am sure Halloween and pumpkin carving pics will be coming soon!
October 15th is remembrance day... please consider joining us.
Every October 15th at 7pm, in which ever time zone you are in, participants light a candle for at least one hour in memory of their lost children and in support for others who have experienced a loss. The result is a continuous wave of light for a 24 hour period honoring our children’s memory.
We love our angel baby. He is in our thoughts every day.
“A wife who loses a husband is called a widow. A husband who loses a wife is called a widower. A child who loses his parents is called an orphan. But...there is no word for a parent who loses a child, that's how awful the loss is! “- Neugeboren
I have been slacking with my writing lately and that makes me sad. Actually I am starting to notice a correlation. When life gets crazy often times things I do for myself such as this blog are the first thing to go. However, then it seems to make the craziness even worse and creates somewhat of an endless cycle. I need to remember no matter how crazy things get I need to still make some time for the things I love.
One thing I have always struggled with is letting others peoples thoughts and opinions get to me. I let their wants affect mine. For example if I want to go do something and they don't then I am just like "oh well we don't have to go I guess." I do feel like I am getting better about this though. When I wanted to take Ashley to the fireworks the night before Thanksgiving and no one wanted to go I just took her by myself. When I was at the golf tournament and mom needed to leave I found another ride home so I could stay and enjoy myself. When I want to go somewhere and no one else does I can go anyway. There have been times in my life where I would feel completely guilty about this, but I am coming to a point where I can realize how important it is to do the things that make me happy even if no one else wants to. Lately when I want to go do something and my boyfriend or my friends can't I have been making an effort to do it anyway. This is something that is definitely pushing the limits for me, but it is also important. I need to put myself out there and do things for me even if no one else is doing them with me.
It is very important to have people in your life you can share things with, and who will be there to enjoy things with you, however it is also important to be able to do it for yourself, when no one else is there with you. It is important to do things because you want to or you need to. It is important to be able to stand up for yourself and what you need even if it goes against what others are saying. This is a hard thing to learn and yet I am trying. I will always be the kind of person who cares about others and their thoughts and feelings, but I am learning to do it in a way that doesn't make me sacrifice my own. However I just have to tell myself.... yes their thoughts matter, but "YOU MATTER TOO!"
This week I have once again been inspired by my students, the students in our building, and our school as a whole. There is a 7th grader in our building who has been struggling with health issues for many years. The first time I "met" Lukas was when he was in Ohio for a bone marrow transplant and his 4th grade teacher had me come help them so they could skype to Lukas and say hi. Since his transfusion 3 years ago he has been in and out of the hospital many times. He often attends class here through skype, as he travels back and forth to Ohio frequently to follow up with doctors. This year he has once again been in Ohio as his body has been fighting infection.
Last week our school did a dress down day where the students dontated money in exchange for being out of uniform for the day. Our school has about 450 students and each student was asked to donate $1. However, they all went above and beyond and raised over $3000 to help cover the families travel expenses.
Yesterday we celebrated Mass together and lifted Lukas up in prayer. We had symbols to represent Lukas, and all of his classmates wore "Team Lukas" shirts. Our priest spoke about the importance of prayer and in a powerful moment the church (that was filled to the brim) all knelt in prayer in complete silence. Not a sound was heard as everyone surrounded Lukas with prayer. Can you imagine a place that full... including students Pre-K through 8, parents, grandparents, and younger siblings all crammed in together and the room managing to stay completely silent? It was a very powerful moment.
Lukas attend Mass through skype with him mom, while his dad, grandma, and granpa were present in the church. There were tears around the church as everyone thought of this family and everything they have faced. It is such an emotional and powerful moment to witness something like this happen.
One of the most touching moments for me (besides the silent prayer) came after Mass. Every student in my class is paired up with a 7th grade buddy. One of my students is paired up with Lukas, though they have never met. This student has really wanted to meet Lukas so after Mass yesterday I took him over to the IPad with our school counselor and some of the other students. My little first grade boy walked up to the Ipad and said "Hi Lukas. My name is A* and I am your buddy!." Lukas said "hi" and waved. The counselor verified they were both Cardinals fans as Lukas is an extreme fan. A* was so happy to meet Lukas and clearly proud to be his buddy. They dicussed that hopefully soon they will be sitting in Mass together, and we all hope that day is right around the corner.
My class prayers for Lukas and his family every morning, and I invite you to join us in that prayer. This amazing family can use all the prayers they can get.
I know I talk about my students frequently, but they are such a positive part of my life.
We pray every morning and they are so sweet. They pray for our mass buddies, people they know who are ill, and every time they also say "and anyone who needs our prayers." This morning we prayed for everyone who didn't feel well including myself. All day my students behaved perfectly. I got extra hugs and they were on their best behavior. I was helping a little girl in the doorway at one point and when I tuned to go back in they were all quiet and one little girl says "See how good we were Miss Duncan, we just want to make you feel better." :-)
Then this afternoon I was pulling pages out of one of their workbooks and accidentally ripped one and another little girl pats me on the arm and says "It's okay Miss Duncan, we all make mistakes, that happens to me ALL THE TIME."
I can't help but smile when a child gets walked up to my door and I am told "He just wants you. He asked me to walk him to you and said, I'll be fine as soon as I give Ms. Duncan a hug."
Knowing that I make a difference in these children's lives makes it all worthwhile. They make me strive to be a good person and a positive role model. It is important to me that every child knows that I care for them. I listen to them, and that they can always come to me... and come they do!
I know it is Thursday and you should be receiving a Top 10 List, but I am behind and I have a Terrific Tuesday post I didn't get to make so I wanted to make sure and get it out today.
I want to put a great big THANK YOU out to some of my friends who have really been there for me lately. I wish I could sit and write tons and tons about all of them, but instead you are going to get little snipits on a few. I am so blessed to have these amazing people in my life and I want them to know that their support doesn't go unnoticed.
I once again want to thank my cousins Kristina and Ciera for always being there for me when I need something. I can send them a text and they always write immediately back and offer their support. They talk things out with me, offer ideas and support. I know if I ever need anything they have my back.
I want to thank my friend Debra, who you will see writing on here from time to time. Debra and I became friends through another site many years ago. Her and I have often faced similar situations in our lives, and right now is no different. I know that when I post something she is going to "get it" and she will be right there to struggle through it with me.
I want to say thank you to my friend Alex. Alex and I haven't known each other very long, but he is always willing to step up and help me. He helped me move things to the aprtment. He helps me haul laundry back and forth to the laundry room. He helped take apart the bathroom light to figure out what was going on with it. He is willing to stop by when heknows I am having a rough day and bring me icecream or just be there so I have someone to talk to. He gets to hear me vent a lot and I know he just lets it roll off his back and he isn't ever going to hold any of it against me.
As always I want to thank my parents and family for being there for me and Ashley. I don't know how we would get through everything without you.
I want to thank some of my coworkers and friends/parents from work. They went out with us last Thursday to celebrate mom's last day and provided for an excellent evening. They are able to just go out and have a great time without focusing on all the nagtives from the day. One of them also talked to me after the golf tournament about removing negative people from my life. This is something I had struggled with, but knew I really needed to do. Talking to her definitely helped salidify that for me, and made me realize I needed to trust my gut and not look back.
I want to thank all of my wonderful friends who have been supporting my blog, or supporting my show. People who have been guest. People who have shared it with their friends, and people who just come read and leave comments. All of your support means so much to me.
There are obviously many more people in my life who mean so much to me, and provide many positive things. I appreciate and love all of you.