Thursday, December 8, 2016

A first concert night together

These two are growing up before my very eyes. 

The big guy is in his last year of elementary school and his sister is right there behind him! 

It was pretty cool getting to watch them both perform in their winter band concert this evening.

I was one proud mama to a budding flute player and a rockin' trombone player. 

Way to go you two! 

And not to be left out...our resident comedian and notorious photo bomber, Ty.

I have a feeling they thought it was pretty cool to play in the new Fine Arts Auditorium...they looked like a snazzy group!

Checking to see if she had any fans in the audience...

 Awesome job 5th grade!!

Great concert 6th grade!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Snow Day!

This was Tyson's response to the news that school had been cancelled today! 

It's been one of those days.





Moments filled watching the softly falling snow swirl around in the wind outside our windows.

Minutes spent playing and reading and creating.

The kind of day that you don't want to ever come to an end!

So, when my two (not so little anymore) kids, invited me outside to play with them, I just couldn't resist.

I went, even though the adult in me didn't really want to go out into the freezing cold tundra that is Minnesota during a blizzard.

I'm glad they coaxed me out of my hiding place.

Although we didn't last long, and the only respite from the biting wind was on the front porch, we did have a great time.

Madi rescued one of her kitties who refused to walk more than three steps in the snow...

And as for Tyson...

he was more into being his happy, silly boyish self..



and diving

into the slippery snow on the porch.

His pure JOY for life is pretty contagious.

I am savoring today.

We needed this.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Teaching me.

"Mrs. Tollerud, can you read this?" 

"Mrs. T., I'm not sure how to end this paragraph, what do you think?"

"I just need a good hook. Mrs. Tollerud, what is going to make people want to read my story?" 

This is a new experience for me...

this business of teaching young writers to write.

As of right now, it's a pretty daunting task if I'm being honest.

If I could just get these kids to always capitalize their "I's" and to stop using texting slang, everything would be great...

or at least this is something that I leave many of our class periods thinking.

But then a day like today happens,

and suddenly, I am reminded of why it is that I am called to teach this tough, yet extremely rewarding, subject of writing..

and why, for me, teaching these young authors to tell their story is so important. 

One of my students came to me, to check in, to see if her paragraph was complete.

We are currently working on writing autobiographies.

And as I have done countless times before, I took her paper in my hands and began to read.

What followed brought unexpected tears to my eyes.

Although the grammar was broken and the words weren't quite as eloquently written down on the paper as I would have hoped, her words, her story, pulled me in.

Those words, her voice, wrapped themselves around my heart, and gave me pause.

I attempted to smile through my tears when I looked up at her.

"Is it ok?, " she softly asked.

All I could do was nod and try to smile through my tears.

This young girl, my ten year old student, had experienced more pain in her short life than I hope to in a lifetime.

Thankfully, I did regain my composure and nodded back to her.

Before she walked away, I managed to eek out, "thank you so much for sharing your story."

In that moment, I knew that any words of encouragement or reassurance I could try to offer would be pointless...

there really were no other words that I could utter other than a simple, "thank you."

These kids are teaching me so much.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Finding My Place...

This blog has been my outlet so many times in the past five years,

and I'm so grateful that I started it all those years ago.

Writing helps me sort out the pieces of my life that don't quite fit.

Those moments when I feel sad and hopeless, excited and nervous, along with all sorts of other emotions in between.

And as much as I have enjoyed {been grateful for} the circumstances in this life of mine, I can't sit here and write {honestly} about undying happiness or personal fulfillment.

Something just hasn't quite been right.

I have known for many years that I was meant to serve others.

Growing up, one of my favorite games to play was 'school', and I played it countless times with so many friends.

From a young age, I truly believe that I was called to teach.

Back in college, I remember my best friends mom reassuring me that I was 'meant to be a teacher'. 

As an amazing teacher herself, she was the first one who helped me truly believe that I could do this. 

Along the way, there have been many obstacles but, ultimately, I've persevered.

Thirteen years ago, I had an amazing student teaching experience in 5th grade.

I think, {no, let me rephrase that, I know}, that I have been trying to recreate that experience every single year since.

And although I have enjoyed and been grateful for the opportunities that I've had to love and teach these children entrusted to my care the past few years, I have still been searching for something just a little bit more.

If you are a reader of my blog (I can't help but say thank you!), you know that this spring I was given this tremendous opportunity to follow the dream I've been chasing for years.

I was hired as the new 5th grade teacher in our school.


After trying for so many years, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this was where I was supposed to be.

Well, I am just about three weeks into this new 'gig' of mine and although I haven't had time to stop and reflect about it on here, I have to say that it is going unbelievably well so far.

I'm not going to lie and say it's been without hiccups and snags along the way, but these are things that will always be there, that's just part of life when you choose to teach.

The difference is that I am ready.

I am armed with a perpetual smile and backed with a passion that is undying.

Thank you fifth graders for being that class, those kids for me.

I can't wait to see where this year takes us!

I'm so grateful for you!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Sweet Summertime.

Glittering rays,

sparkling waters,

a wet, dripping embrace from your bestie

as you contemplate the best trajectory to jump in.

When you are kid, is there anything better than spending the day having fun with your friends in the warm summer sunshine laughing, playing, and being silly?

I think not.

Tyson picked an excellent day to celebrate turning 8 years old with his buddies.

There was splashing, giggling, jumping, throwing, and catching along with so many other fun filled moments. 

I am so glad that all three kids have such good friends to grow up with.