Be in the NOW. Celebrate the PRESENT

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As my summer vacation is coming to a close and we return to school next week it is easy to begin to start thinking…..

I wish had two more weeks to get this, this, and this done.

I cannot believe that summer is over.

I have to work in my room

Etc.

We find ourselves quickly moving our mindset to thinking about the past and thinking about the future. Meanwhile, the present is overlooked and we are missing out on life.

I went through this just the last few days while at a mini vacation we take every year with two other couples. Here I am at a water park, my kids happy, having a blast and I start thinking about my work at back at home, getting frustrated with factors out of my control at the water park, and not enjoying my time like I should.

It was 100% my fault. I was worrying about things that I could not control and change. Instead of being in the moment I was missing out. I had to adjust my mindset to get back to the reasons we take little vacations.

Yesterday my two year old had a bit of breakdown. Finally, I had her settled where she stood in the water leaning against me and we watched the slides and water being splashed all over. I was in the moment. It was awesome. I had to remember this moment will never happen again. Next year she will be a year older. Perhaps I wanted to go do the big slides, but I will never have a chance again to connect with my daughter when she is two again. Next year she will be three. That right there is the biggest thrill ride I could ask for. I was in the moment not thinking about anything else.

I write this to share that none of us are perfect. It is easy to think about the future or past and neglect the present. To be truly present is not easy. We have to find that balance.

I am reminded to not wish my life away wishing for this or that because one day our time will be over and we will have wished that we did not wish our life away. Be in the moment and realize that the best moments in life are those small moments that we often overlook and take for granted.

Remember this as a person and spouse and parent. Remember this in your classroom as a teacher. Don’t think about all the things that come with the job, but be in the moment to celebrate the small victories. By doing this your job is so much more rewarding and amazing. It is about mindset and our mindset can be the game changer in our appreciation for life.

Be in the NOW!

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Coffeechug Notepad of Ideas: How my blogs and projects begin

Here are some thoughts running through my mind over the last few days and I working on moving towards a blog post or something grander. Not sure where they will lead and perhaps they will not go any further beyond this page.

The reason I share is that when I read something powerful or have an idea I always write them down. I have at least 10 yellow notepads crammed everywhere in my life so I don’t forget.

My blog posts and ideas never just magically appear. They start as a seed with a single line or fact. They continue to grow into several ideas and one day they connect and bond to create a larger idea. When that happens I then blog about it or create a project in my classroom.

So, these are the current notes I am working on. Can you figure out my vision and where I am headed with this?

Have a great day

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Life in the Maurer Updates – Spike the Elf, Addy Birthday, and Conversations

Yesterday, my daughter turned 4. I cannot believe that she is 4 years old already. This girl is someone that keeps you on your toes. Where has the time gone? I cannot believe my son will be 6 on New Years Eve and that I turn the big 30 Friday. Besides the fact that am getting old, my life just seems to be flying by. I guess that it is a good thing.

Anyways, my daughter who beats to her own drum is a person that reminds everyone to keep things simple and to find pleasure in the small things. She is not one that really plays with toys, but lives in what we call “Addy World”. We asked her what she wanted for her birthday and she said, “I already have Barbies……I don’t want anything.” My son would have provided us a 35 minute discussion on everything he wanted, but not her. We got just a few simple things that she loves(chap stick, makeup, a container to hide and store things, etc.). Nothing major and she was just overjoyed to have something to unwrap. She told us like 10 times that she just loved what we picked out. She is a constant reminder that you don’t always need the biggest or most expensive things. Happiness can be found all over if you just look around.

Later that night, Aiden was talking about school as we were getting ready for bed. He told us how one of his classmates said a bad word. Without pause, my lovely daughter responds, “A bad word like butt hole?” I about fell out of bed and Amanda and I had to cover our faces and try to look serious as we explained that she is not to say this. She said it so nonchalantly and instant that it caught us all off guard.

Finally, Spike the Elf has continued to be on the move. Here is what Spike left for the kids the other night and where he currently resides for the moment.

Until next time, the Maurer household will continue to be a little chaotic and enjoy the small things like hiding an Elf around the house. Keep it real people!

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What Have I Been Doing?


Besides the enjoyment of not being at work during the summer, there is rarely a day that goes by where I am not busy doing something. I have yet to have a day to just sit and read and be nerdy. The last couple days I have been working on one of my Honey Do items. I worked to change our dining room from the red painted walls which were painted red two times (6 coats of paint total) the last couple years to a nice light yellow.

As you can see here I had to paint three layers of paint to hide the yellow.
This was using the Behr paint that had the primer mixed in with the paint. It was a good paint, but still took many coats. Trying to hide red is near impossible.

After painting the walls yellow, I then had to tackle the challenge of chair rail bead board with trim all painted white. I am not a man who is good with tools. If it has a keyboard I am good to go, but anything else watch out. However, considering this was my first time doing this I think it turned out awesome. My wife is also quite happy. I had to not only deal with uneven walls and corners, but also acquiring the necessary tools. I also had to dabble with the changing out of the electric outlets as we had to switch them all to white. Now I am off to fixing my kitchen wall so I can paint that room again and put up the same bead board up in the kitchen as well. Funny how one project just merges into another….

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What Teachers Do In The Summer: Part 1

I thought it would be interesting to share with others what exactly a teacher does over the summer. I know that each teacher does his/her own thing, but I thought I would share how quickly time flies and actually rarely does time exist to just chill. This previous week was no exception as I did have school on Tuesday so that day was shot.

Wednesday: Mow the yard, clean the gutters, meet and prepare for Lego Robotics Camp all morning

Thursday: Began the painting process. I do this every year as my wife wants change all the time. I am painting our dining room in which I have painted two shades of red in the last three years and turning it a very light yellow. Yes, this will require several layers and then when the paint is done we will add beadboard.
Friday: Added second coat of yellow paint. Still needs another coat. This is the new Behr paint with the primer mixed in with it all. Summer cleaning has begun. Starting with our basement storage and sorting and trashing all the toys that need to go.

Saturday: Took Aiden and Addy to a fishing camp in Muscatine and even though we did not catch any fish, they both learned some things. Aiden also won a new fishing pole and I won a sleeping bag. Came home and painted the third coat of paint. We then proceeded to clean house from where we left off on Friday.

Sunday: Took time to do some reading in the morning. Helped get food and things around for family dinner.

I also ran 13.5 miles this week and did some weightlifting.

Now I just have to purchase and put up the beadboard before moving on to the kitchen.

What did you do last week?

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