There has been so much going on. I am ever so grateful to be on winter break. It would be awesome if it would go as slowly as possible.
11 Days ago, we put down our 10 year old dog and I cried so much. I have lost pets before but Morgan was not just a pet. He was family. We had him since he was a puppy. We were his only owners except the people who owned his mama. I miss him so much.
This is one of my favorite pictures of him. It was the spring of 2012 at our cabin. I was going through a REALLY rough time in my life and just about to publish my book. Our other dog, Hershey, was only a puppy still. Morgan was not his biggest fan so when Hershey had this stick, Morgan took it and moved to the other side of the yard where Hershey couldn't follow (because Hershey was on a tie out and Morgan wasn't). Then he just laid there like the boss of the applesauce. It was hilarious.
We had Morgan cremated and the pet cemetery made a paw print memorial for us. This past week I went to pick up his cremains and keepsake and the tears came as soon as I saw this. It is beautiful. In theory, one could use it as an ornament but we are not. Thank goodness too since our cat has decided the tree is hers....I would be heartbroken if she accidentally knocked it out and it broke.
The week of December 8 at school was really rough. My grade level partner was out since Thanksgiving break with a mystery illness and I was trying hard to balance my class, help his subs and keep things together. Then Morgan died and things were just really, really hard.
This past week, the angels smiled down on me and it was soooooo much better. I had a small class all week since two kids went to Mexico for the holidays and another was out sick all week.It's amazing how 2-3 kiddos being gone can make such a difference in the atmosphere of a classroom -- just less bodies can really alter the day.
I have learned over the years to keep the week before a break as academic as possible. Especially for these kiddos -- many of them behave really poorly before a break because school is the only real structure they have (knowing what to do when, etc). So we were academic all day every day except for our holiday program on Thursday afternoon and our holiday celebration on Friday afternoon.
We made melted snowman ornaments to take home. How super cute did these turn out?
In the interest of keeping things academic, between Thanksgiving break and winter break, we worked on research. The kiddos all got a topic and we went through the whole process. They finished them up this week and made a cover for their report. This friend's report was on sharks and this is the cover he made -- look at the fish's eyes. He has a look like "oh, crap!" hehe We got lots of giggles out of this one. It's so darn funny.
In lieu of classroom parties this year (well, we *did* make the ornaments), one of our local community partners provided a school-wide celebration for us on Friday. They provided cookies, cupcakes and hot chocolate for EVERY child. All of the kiddos also got to go home with one of these cute (and soft!) blankets! They have our school mascot screen printed onto them. So awesome. We are very, very lucky to have so many community businesses who have adopted our school and make awesome things happen for our kids. There were enough left that Mr. Principal made sure all of the staff got one too if we wanted one ♥
Finally, this charming little lady turned the big 1-2 yesterday! 364 days and she'll be a TEENAGER. Oh.My.Goodness.
I am ever so grateful to be on break. It's a busy one every year as we have The Youngest's birthday (seen above), Christmas, our anniversary (the 28th) and then New Year's. I'm excited to be mostly staying home and relaxing this break. No big plans this year and I'm good with that. I expect to spend multiple days not even leaving my house....and that is just fine with me.
After all that has been going on in the last month or so, plus grad school, I am more than ready for a break -- just to read, relax, play games, see the small people who share my house. I do have a little school work to do (grading mostly) but that can wait until after my anniversary. I plan to spend the first 10 days of my break just being me. I think I deserve it.