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Why? my blog title "Better2me"

As a woman, mother, and wife my first instinct is to take care of those around me. I nurture those I love in many ways through out the day, but sometimes find myself neglecting me. Recently I realized that I need to nurture myself as well. So this blog is about ME!!!!! What fills my heart; my simple life of kids, husband, animals, home, and creativity. For being better2me leads me to be better to those I love.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Teachers

At Back-to-School-Night, we meet Keaton's teachers: Mr. Davis(the P.E. drill sargeant from Hell), Mrs. Rannis (the second generation Los Osos math teacher), Ms. Visconti (who Kellan hated, and I loved as she is an extremely differential teacher, who greatly challenges her students, and as my husband said If I were teaching English, I would be exactly like her. ), Mrs. Fox (the small birdlike Spanish teacher), and Mrs. Koulkol (the highly quirky and somewhat ADD science teacher).

Knowing all of them (except P.E.), were handpicked by Keaton's counselor for him, gave me some peace of mind. However, when we got to science I wondered if this teacher was going to work. Keaton needs a teacher who is logical and organized in their approach, and Mrs. Koulkol looked scattered as she stammered her way through the presentation. Then, she pulled up the projector screen and in the front and center of her board was a huge poster that stated "If a child cannot learn how we teach, then why don't we teach how they learn." My worry instantly lessened, as this is one of my favorite quotes and, I believe, one that if followed would revolutionize the school system and allow all children to reach their full potential. As she explained the quote, you could tell her passion and knowledge of how this needed to occur, and knew she would be a good teacher for Keaton.

Six weeks later, as Keaton and I were discussing biology he brings up that his teacher has this great quote in her classroom "If a child cannot learn...," and that she often discusses different learning styles and has different ways for kids to do the same work, according to what works for them. He confides that he really likes this quote, and what it represents, and then he asks me to discuss the kind of learner he is and how it affects his learning.

Now, I know that having her as a teacher is priceless. Thank you, Mrs. Koulkol, for reaching my child in a way that I could not, and for allowing him to be proud of who he is and his amazing uniqueness.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Chain of Kindness





One evening, during out stay in Alaska, I met an older couple in the elevator. We both were trying to navigate the complexities of the resort and began to laugh, as it turned into a game of Russian Roulette, trying to find the corresponding floors, to our corresponding needs.

We parted ways, but soon afterward they walked into the overcrowded bar looking for a place to eat dinner. No seats were available and so Kevin and I asked them to sit with us. Quickly, we learned that Joe, who reminded me of my father, and was the same age as he would have been, 87, had also served in WWII. He was a retired financial advisor, who spent his retirement trying to eradicate illiteracy in his southern community, something I greatly admired. He also had a penchant for small whiskey distilleries, as does my oldest son, and so a great discussion ensued over their favorites. Others around us began to contribute and soon it was a fun game of name that whiskey, that left everyone laughing.

His wife, Marilyn, was a retired nurse, who spoke glowingly about their children, their home, and the fact that every year they picked a new spot to explore on their vacation, this year it was an Alaskan cruise. It soon became apparent that she also had great responsibility in helping Joe, as dementia hidden beneath the surface began to rise. As he repeated the same questions and introduced himself again, I smiled and responded by once again introducing myself. She smiled in thanks at me, and I saw the sadness in her eyes. I realized this was her reality and she had accepted him for who he was, a great reminder that marriage is a lifelong commitment.

When their food arrived, we excused ourselves so they could eat. As we left, my hubby, who is the kindest and most generous man I know, asked the waitress for their bill and paid it, with a stipulation that they not know who their benefactor was.

Several nights later, we stopped in for a quick dinner and happened to have the same waitress. She couldn't wait to tell us that Joe and Marilyn were so surprised over their gift, but also wanted us to know we had started a chain of kindness. Joe and Marilyn had ordered coffee and dessert, which was not included in what we had already paid, but another patron who had overheard Kevin, generously added it to his bill, again without them knowing who it was from.

As we got up to leave the waitress handed Kevin a box with a dessert he had been contemplating and then decided against. She told him that this was not paying it forward, as she would do that in the near future to someone who was not expecting it, but that this was a thank you for starting the chain and giving her such an amazing gift as seeing it unfold. Thus the chain came full circle as Kevin was given a gift greater, gratitude, than he had given. Isn't that what it's all about?

about me

Alta Loma, California, United States
I am a wife of 28 years to Kevin, a pilot, a mother of 22 year old Kellan and 15 year old Keaton. I am caretaker to a zoo of animals including dogs, cats, chickens, fish, birds, turtles, etc. I am a gardener, a cook, a writer, a painter, a teacher, and I am truly blessed to be able to live life the way I wish too.