And God Laughs
I told God my plans and He laughed. So now I am living, laughing, and loving according to His Plans.

Spring Kaleidoscope

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Spring used to be one of my favorite times of year, but now it is bittersweet. I still love the crisp bite as fall snaps back as it recedes (eventually, someday), I love the sudden explosion of green everywhere, I love the brilliant sunshine that emerges after the rain, I love the endless variety of flowers each as if painted by hand. I love how everything is bright and new and alive again. I love to go out in a fresh spring rain and chase puddles to splash just because I can and to twirl in the raindrops falling down with my arms open wide.
The bitter part comes because this was always a particularly active time as a teacher, with IEPs to write and end of the year excitement to plan and the joy of explorations outside for hands on learning, and the delight of seeing how far my kids had come in one school year. We always went on a Bear Hunt for Easter because everything had to be secular, and the kids followed directions of prepositions like over, under, on, around, through to find stashes of small toys until at last we reached "the bear cave" where they creeped in and found a box of bears to choose a special friend from. In May we hatched our own butterflies and watched them grow from egg to caterpillar to butterflies that we eventually set free. I was always amazed that my not so "gentle hands" never killed a butterfly in their eagerness to see them and get to them. We made special mother's day gifts and cards, and father's day too because that came after school ended and I loved being creative with these. We baked cookies, cut up fruit for fruit salad, made invitations and sent them out, decorated the tables, and set them so we could enjoy a Mother's Day tea made and served by the children (with assistance as needed). We planted flowers and watched them grow, each having a day with the important chore of watering and measuring them. There was always out water day when I asked for the kids to be sent to school in swim suits with a change of clothes and we took the huge water table, buckets, a wading pool, and every water toy ever invented out into the hot sun and just splashed until everyone was content. On the last day of school I set up a carnival in our classroom with a pinata, classroom games like bowling and bouncing frogs and pin the tail on the donkey and matching ducks and face painting and lots of balloons and bubbles with prizes at each game and special snacks. Then each id received their goodbye package from me - a framed photo that I had taken of them during the year, a photo CD of all the pictures I took, a new book chosen just for them, bubbles, and a small toy or stuffed animal.
I miss all of those classroom adventures. I miss the wonder of finding a ladybug and the lessons that came naturally from it. I miss the wide eyed wonder watching a butterfly come out of its cocoon. I miss the laughter, the fun of learning, I miss getting good and messy in the name of education. I miss my kids.

This made me cry. I know that you have an amazing attitude and spirit, and everything happens for a reason, but sometimes it just sucks and seems so unfair. I love kids too, and your stories reminded me of working in daycare- I know its not the same, but the smiles and the lightbulbs and the faces of those little ones are definitely universal. I'm sorry you're sad...I only wish I had words of comfort. Maybe hanging out with your Little Bit will help a little? :) Hang in there!

Personally I have not given up hope that you will teach again - IRL - not just online to old therapists like me. You have given a bit of 'sweet' spring to every one who reads here just with your descriptions. Thank you. Barbara

Your students were truly lucky to have such a dedicated and passionate teacher. Your lessons sound amazing. Just amazing.

Job 8:21

"He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy."

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Wild Olive

Wild Olive

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Creative Victory

This is Me

I am a thirty year old enigma who has defied every expectation ever placed upon me and refused every definition created for me. My greatest passion in life is to make a difference in the lives of children with special needs and their families. As a special education teacher I broke all of the unwritten rules to make sure that my kids received the services they needed and had a right to receive. I have never been so proud to be reprimanded before in my life. Now, due to unpredictable twists in life, I am learning first hand what life is like when you rely upon a wheelchair for mobility. I am a medical puzzle with the pieces slowly being identified and put together, and my medical bills alone could fund a small nation. It takes a village to keep me alive. :) However, I am not defined by the genetic misspellings. I am a teacher, a daughter, an aunt, a friend, a dreamer, a reader, an amateur photographer, a writer, an advocate, a star gazer, a world changer. I am stubborn, situationally shy, quick to use humor and wit to make others laugh or cope with a situation, sarcastic, fiercely independent, giving, compassionate (sometimes to a fault), protective of those I love, defiant of arbitrary boundaries, perfectionistic, self conscious, self assured (yes you can be both!), articulate and occasionally dramatic. And that is just what I could fit in two sentences! :)

Who's On First, What's On Second, I Don't Know! (Third Base!!)*

Simple Vocabulary Definitions for those who may not speak fluent medical :)

Undiagnosed Progressive Neurological Disorder- This is the diagnosis that is believed to make everything else fit together. It explains my frequent infections, my muscle weakness and dystonia, my dysautonomia, my cardiac issues, my inability to regulate blood pressure, my dysphagia, my ataxia, my severe fatigue, my extreme nausea, my gastrointestinal dysmotility and IBS like syndrome, my unbelievable migraines, my sensory changes in my arms and legs, my vision issues, my hearing loss (so much for blaming medication), and so much more. Going back to infancy and childhood, this would explain the severe apnea, the significantly delayed motor skills, the reason why I could never keep up with my peers in physical activities, the neurogenic bladder, the malfunctioning thyroid, and my frequent illnesses and vomiting. This is the diagnosis now being used since the DNA testing for Mitochondrial Disease came back odd and I can not afford the expenses of a workup at the Mayo Clinic. We are treating symptomatically.

Pan-Dysautonomia- "Pan" means that it impacts many different systems of my body, "dysautonomia" is a failure of my autonomic nervous system or the part of my brain that does all of the automatic things that do not require conscious thought like telling your heart to beat, regulating your blood pressure, adjusting your body temperature, maintaining balance in space, digesting food, hunger and thirst, etc. It is believed that I have had this from birth based upon my history of symptoms, including severe life threatening apnea as an infant, but the cause remains elusive at this time

Dystonia- abnormal muscle tone and spasticity, including painful spasms, that primarily impacts my feet and lower legs and is now starting to be a problem in my back

Ataxia- difficulty maintaining balance and coordinating/executing movements

Dysphagia- difficulty swallowing due to any number of causes including muscle weakness and poor muscle coordination

Adipsia- the absence of a sense of thirst

Other Medical Issues- Lupus Anticoagulant (autoimmune disease that causes me to tend to form blood clots and has already caused two deep vein blood clots and one mild stroke), Migraines, unknown connective tissue disorder, abnormal gastric motility, allergies, history of v-tach and severe sinus tachycardia, changes to my echocardiagram that include leaking valves and a new murmur, low blood pressure, ataxia, untreated PFO (small hole in my heart that increases the risk of stroke), chronic lymphadema in my left arm, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Narcolepsy/Idiopathic CNS Hypersomnolance (believed to be a result of the dysautonomia and my brain's inability to regulate the sleep/wake cycle), mild hearing loss, malformed optic nerves, polycystic ovarian syndrome, pernicious anemia, vitamin deficiencies

* Title comes from an old Abbot and Costello routine that I chose to memorize in 6th grade and absolutely love.