it's been a while...

My husband mentioned a few days ago that he missed my blogs. He remarked on my talent and urged me to pick it back up. I shrugged off his suggestion thinking, "Yeah, one more thing to add to my to do list."  Tonight I had a lot of thoughts running through my head and as I sipped a much needed glass of white wine and watch my recorded General Hospital I decided to write.

This week is the first full week of Summer Vacation for Lily and she is spending it with my Dad and his wife Deanna in Altus, OK. I was extremely sad preparing and packing for Lily to go. I miss her. Lily is my right hand and truely, she has stepped into the role as my best girlfriend.  She is my idol! She is everything I wished I had been as a kid and I pray I can continue to cultivate her lack of fear, hunger to learn, and friendliness towards all. 

It's interesting how much easier it seems with only one kid at home.  Logan becomes totally different. More loving, more interested in talking to me and cuddling. I'm enjoying alone time with him. Tonight we were playing in his room and he emptied a basket of stuffed animals and brought me each one. I had a flash back to when he was a few months old and I was playing with him in his room. I had his blinds open to give him some natural sun and I decided to put him in that basket with his stuffed animals. I frantically snapped a few photos of him and he made funny faces at me. I swear he was saying, "you need to get a life mom!" Tonight we reinacted this scene and I snapped a photo of him. He was enammored with comparing the original baby photo with the one tonight and I was in awe at how much he had changed, how much he was the same and how FAST time has flown. 

Switching gears now to work. Maybe change is on my horizon, I am not sure but I was given the opportunity (not given to my coworkers) to take a Dale Carnegie class. I have been craving professional development and leadership opportunites for years now and I finally have a manager who is listening. I gave a report tonight about an experience with a physician I had and honestly, I told a story that occurs nearly daily for me so it was easy. The class (about 30 participants) voted me the winner of breakthrough performance tonight. I know it's not a huge deal but it is a big deal to me. I finally feel that I'm being given the opportunity to show my talent.  I feel privilged to have the opportunity to take the class and I'm proud that I was complimented on delivery and technique.  I hope to continue to grow professionally and I'm curious what opportunites my future holds. 

Short, sweet, and to the point, but hey, you got to start somewhere.


thoughts from Mom

The Fall of 2013 has been a big transition for the Seals Family. At the end of August Logan transitioned to a new classroom at Primrose leaving his buddy Ms. Annette whom he was extremely fond of.  Logan is also continuing to potty train and I swear, this is the longest potty training endeavour in the history of man. He has number one pretty well accomplished but the number two is a different story. For whatever reason he holds his BM for release at home. (Thanks, Logan!) After several weeks of accidents; occurring in the pantry, closet, under the table, and in corners, I became quick on the draw and decided with the chaos and haste of our after school routine, pull-ups were in order.  I take the blame for unsuccessful potty training because frankly, I have not had the time and attention to devote to it. I'm turning a new leaf now and we are going to devote 100% to this to make Logan fully Potty Trained. As if these transitions were not enough, Logan also climbed out of his baby bed. We quickly turned his bed into a toddler bed and this easy access in and out of his bed gave him new found freedom. For about a week Logan roamed the house at night. He would tiptoe downstairs and wake Aaron up with a giant grin. He would go to Lily's room and get in bed with her and he also got into the water in his bathroom vanity, several times. In one night I changed his pajamas three times from 2 water mishaps and 1 soap mishap. Needless to say his bathroom vanity was cleaned out and the water to the sink was turned off.  After too many sleepless nights to count we decided that the only option for Logan's safety and our sanity was to lock his doors at night. I know it sounds harsh but it really is for the best. I have a camera watching him so I can keep an eye on him. Occasionally he dives off of his bed onto the floor which creates a very loud thud that can be heard downstairs. We are in the market for big boy furniture (more to come when we find that!)

The end of August was also a milestone for Lily as she began Kindergarten at the public school Walker Creek Elementary. Lily has a love for learning and was extremely excited about starting school. She walked through the halls with her head high, she had no fear. The first day was pure excitement for her and I smiled and cheered her on as I fought back tears. "How is my baby girl starting Kindergarten already?" A week after school began I attended a Kindergarten curriculum night at her school. The teachers presented their learning plan for the year. Again, I found myself fighting back tears but this time for another reason. I was worried. The curriculum was a major review for Lily and I grew concerned about how they could keep her challenged when she was already ahead of the curve. Also, the main goal of Lily's year would be the alphabet challenge where they would recite each letter of the alphabet, along with a word that starts with that letter, and the sound the letter makes. Lily accomplished this task the night I brought it home.  I quickly conferenced with Lily's teacher and she mimicked my concerns. She shared a few anecdotes that I will share. One day she was showing a slide about science that contained the word "Paleontologist" and she heard Lily read it aloud which caught her by surprise. She also said that Lily has read every book that she has introduced to the class (thanks to Aunt Megan Lily has quite the extensive book collection.) Mrs. Darden (Lily's teacher) and I decided on a plan. She gave Lily the Kindergarten assessment early. The assessment shows Lily's level of academic skill. She passed them all with upper 90's and the results placed her at mid first grade level. Again, I met with Lily's teacher and we decided the next step was to order a district test used to accelerate a student to the next grade level. For the student to be considered for grade acceleration, they must pass each subject (Math, Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts) with a score of at least 90 percent. Our prediction was that Lily would score high in one or two subjects areas and that we would accelerate her to the next grade level (called telescoping) just for those subjects. The testing process took two weeks and we finally had a meeting arranged last Friday for the results. Aaron and I sat stunned as Mrs. Darden and the Excel teacher, Mrs. Simmons relayed the results. Lily more than passed every subject level and the school was recommending that we accelerate her to first grade immediately. I was shocked and then a wave of emotion hit me. I pondered every negative outcome, I questioned the future, but at the end of it all Aaron and I knew in our heart that this was the best decision for Lily. We had to deal with the present. Lily's new teacher Mrs. Lacey met us and escorted us to her new classroom. She was warm and personable and Lily loved her immediately (I did too!) She patiently toured the class with Lily, explaining projects they had completed, books they will read, the magical reading tree house, and her class pet leopard iguana, Dennis.  Lily left her school Friday completely elated and couldn't wait to share her exciting news. Today was Lily's first day of First Grade. Aaron had planned to walk her to class but this morning she decided she wanted to be dropped off, as normal. As she exited the car she met up with two other first grade girl friends and walked into the building like any other ordinary day.  I'm overwhelmed with pride for Lily. Not only is she smart but she's full of confidence. Praise the Lord for that!  I'll keep you posted on our journey but as I sign off I'll leave you with one parting thought. Try not to judge others and the decisions they make for their children. Being a parent is hard and there are no real instructions. I will continue to cultivate Lily's mind and spirit every way I can and I hope you all will embrace and praise her with me.


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