Monday, February 1, 2016

February Challenge (3)

I hate February. Mostly because it is eternal and bleak, and cold, and has the mother of all disappointing holidays right smack in the middle of it (if you don't know what I'm talking about, just wait - I don't know a single adult who doesn't have at least one story of V-Day gone bad). And yes, I know that is a bad attitude, but keep reading. Because February is such a hard month for me to endure, much less enjoy and embrace, each year I challenge myself to comment on this blog every day with something that was great about that day. I know many people do something similar in November, but seriously, November is a great month and really doesn't need much to make it enjoyable. So enough of the ramble/rant.

Feb. 1
Today I really enjoyed my time with my colleagues.  It is rare that teachers in a small school get time to connect with others who teach the same things. It is also rare that teachers in small schools get time to simply sit and work with each other. This time has been both enjoyable and valuable.


  1. Snow Days! So thankful for a couple of days with my wife and kids. I love not being able to travel for a few days and thus we get to spend some real quality together.

  2. Snow days!!! So day 2 was even better - even with clearing the snow. The sun was shining and that always puts me in a better mood. Simon and his friend Lucy who lives next door had so much fun playing in the snow. At one point, I saw them both just laying on their backs in the snow taking it all in. I remember doing the same as a kid - you are warm from playing so hard and the snow is soft and inviting and you lay there in the still and just enjoy it. I took my cue from them, I just enjoyed the day.

    1. Just looked back at my blog, and in 2015 and 2013 (I missed 2014 for some reason) we had snow days in Feb. I think it is divine intervention - more proof that we need a break in Feb.

  3. Feb. 3
    I'm reading The Phantom Toolbooth with the HAL students and really enjoying it. As a math/computer teacher I rarely get the chance to enjoy literature with my students. I always look forward to the chance to read with these kids and go on a journey to far off lands.

  4. Feb. 6
    Speech meets
    I so enjoyed going to the Aurora meet and watching the Hampton kids perform. Shout out to Emmy for being the novice champ. I am always impressed when kids push themselves to be great in the arts.

  5. Feb. 7
    Sunny Sunday Afternoons
    Spent the afternoon with my kids having fun. I love that my daughter still enjoys playing with her American Girl dolls (although I'm not sure if spending large amounts of time setting everything up to have 3 minutes of play is really playing, but she loves to organize them). Mostly I guess I am just thankful for time to slow down and enjoy the awesome people in my life.

  6. Feb. 8
    Jazz Band
    Willa performed in GI at the Islander Jazz Fest today. So proud of her. She plays keyboard for the middle school jazz band and does a great job. I love that she has so much talent and works hard to utilize it.

  7. Feb. 9
    My Brother
    Today is my older brother's birthday. He would be 46 if he were alive - he died 13 years ago. Even though I still really miss him, I am thankful for the time I did have with him. To this day I will find that he influences my life in many small ways, from how I think and react to certain situations to my warped sense of humor. His life was short, but intensely lived.

    1. February is my least favorite month, too. For a multitude of reasons. First, my Danny passed away in this month as well, it was 4 years this year. Valentines day is really just, dumb. I don't understand why you can't show your love for your significant other 365-366 days a year, instead of just one? Finally, I hate how there is only 28 days. It's nice because this month ends faster, but it really screws some other things up. Even though this month truly sucks, I always look to the positives. Danny had a great life and he made a big impact on mine. I will cherish those little things forever.

  8. Feb. 10
    Spelling Bee!
    I was a terrible speller as a child - usually out of the spelling bee in the third or fourth round. My father almost didn't graduate high school because his spelling was so poor. I'm sure my grandpa Sharp couldn't spell either. So imagine my surprise when my daughter is chosen to go to the spelling bee. Even better, she was fourth in the sixth grade! Way to go Willa!

  9. Feb. 11
    A good reference.
    My wife is currently seeking a job and I had the pleasure of listening to one of her references talk about her. I am so impressed with all she has done and what she has achieved in her career. I am hopeful that she will get a great job and her career will continue to blossom. I know she has great references.

  10. Feb. 12
    Today I really pushed myself as an educator and tried something totally new. In Alg. 1 we did a breakout box - which is an activity where a group of students must solve clues to unlock several locks on a box to win what is inside. All my clues were algebra related and the prize was some good candy. I had the administrative team watching and taking pictures, so thank God it went well. Overall, I really liked the activity and want to do another one soon, but there were a few things I will do differently next time.

  11. Feb. 13
    Good Chinese Food
    Today we went out to eat to celebrate Valentines Day. We went to our favorite Chinese restaurant (Hunan's in Kearney). My whole family adores the food and we always enjoy ourselves there. Today was no exception. Afterwards Willa and I went to HyVee while Simon and Megan went to GoodWill. Oddly enough, it was fun to go with Willa and shop a new store (neither of us had been before). We picked up some really good cheese as well as the fixin's for tomorrow's dinner.

  12. Feb. 14
    Slow Cooked Food
    My favorite Sunday activity is to make a delicious meal that is not possible on a week night. Today we cooked a turkey breast and had a good old fashioned turkey dinner. It was really good. I love how the house smells while it is cooking and how hungry that makes you. The food just tastes that much better.

  13. Feb. 15
    So I know not everyone loves Mondays, but I kind of do. The week is full of promise and nothing has gone wrong yet. With this attitude I think we can start a week ready to do great things.

  14. Feb. 17
    NETA Tech Director's Meeting
    Three times a year tech directors from across the state get together and discuss all the current topics in tech education. I love the time to get away and work with my colleagues. Just as the small school consortium gave me a chance to work with fellow math teachers, these meetings give me a chance to work with fellow techies. I always learn something fascinating and new. So thankful for these opportunities.

  15. Feb. 18
    The weather is beautiful! So thankful for the sunshine and the promise of warmer weather. I love spring and the hope it brings for longer warmer days.

  16. Feb. 19
    Extension Cords
    Today the power kind of went out at school. Half the school lost power as one of the circuits that power the school went down. Unfortunately, the network hardware was on the circuit that went down. Thankfully, an extension cord was able to supply power to the network so that we never lost internet.

  17. Feb. 20
    Clean Windows
    I spent a significant amount of time today cleaning windows in our house. I am embarrassed to admit that it has been years since the windows have been thoroughly cleaned. The weather was perfect - not too cold and not too hot - and now I can tell if it is raining, snowing, or sunny out!

  18. Feb. 21
    Jazz Band
    Today I was able to see Willa perform with the middle school jazz band. So proud I could burst. She did an amazing job and the entire band sounded awesome. I am so thankful she is a part of this group and has the opportunity to experience such amazing music.

  19. Feb. 22
    The Stuhr Museum
    My wife is the new Assistant Research Curator at the Stuhr Museum!!!! I am so proud of her and so glad that her career is really moving in a positive direction. When she quit at the Plainsman last December we had no idea what she would do or how her career would advance. So thankful for this opportunity for her.

  20. Feb. 29
    I am writing this because only once in 5 years would I ever see this date on your blog. I have read your February posts for the last two years and I have always loved reading how you can make the worst month, the best. It's good for people to look for the positives in their lives to help keep them trucking through. If we don't succeed in finding the positives, we will lead a negative, boring and gloomy life. I think that not only the worst months, but also the best months we should look at the positives in our every day lives. It can help us achieve inner peace with ourselves and with the world around us.


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