Monday, February 10, 2014

Juggling...and Happiness!

As this picture (from Christmas) was posted on Facebook, someone mentioned that I look peaceful and actually sitting and resting...

This is proof that I can sit and rest. I just don't do it that often. I prefer to think of myself as a juggler, a multi-tasker. I love being busy and thrive on activity. Most of my stress is positive stress that I create for myself. I truly find joy in being busy and achieving goals - both long term and short term.
Juggling...that is what I am doing right now.  I am enjoying every minute of it, but being very careful that nothing hits the ground...that nothing is left unattended to...and that all timelines are met and no deadline is missed. gives multiple definitions for juggling, and they all seem to fit our life right now:
      1. to keep several objects in continuous motion in the air simultaneously by tossing and catching.
      2. to hold, catch, carry, or balance precariously; almost drop and then catch hold again:  
      3. to manage or alternate the requirements of two or more tasks, responsibilities, activities,        etc. so as to handle each adequately
As we make our way through what is normally the winter doldrums, the Rahns are full steam ahead and making use of every minute of every day. 
With this juggling comes thinking about happiness, I found some appropriate quotes for where we are right now in our adventures.

 The journeys that lay ahead, the destinations that we are working towards and the adventures that we are looking forward to are definitely contributing to the happiness that we are feeling right now.
Here are the highlights of what is going on as I currently perfect my juggling routine...

Blue Ridge
I am continuing to teach 7th grade English and loving every minute of it. I am finishing up a 3 credit graduate course - Literacy Journeys, and am still SO happy with the choice that I made to switch and move to the middle school level. The colleagues, the administration and the students are all highlights of my adventure every day!! I can't wait to see what the future holds and what other fun I can have at Blue Ridge Middle School in the upcoming days, weeks, months and years!

In about 35 days we will be arriving in Barcelona, Spain for 6 days. I am so looking forward to it and can't wait for all of the adventures. Our family will be having two very distinct, different adventures during this time period.

Don and the girls will be touring, sightseeing and learning about a new culture and country.  I will be connecting and collaborating with 260 teachers/educators from around the world. I really won't see much of Barcelona.

We will be staying at the AC Barelona Forum Hotel - run by Marriott. It's across the street from a large shopping mall and about a 10 minute walk from the beach. Good news for Don and the girls.
We've got the guidebooks and passports...

and we've got some Euros already to now it's just countdown time till we get on that plane on March 9th at 10:55 p.m.

The Little Mermaid

The middle school musical will play a large part in our adventures in the upcoming weeks. Both girls are finally performing together and are looking forward to opening night on February 28th. The final adrenaline rush with this adventure is that the closing performance is on Sunday, March 9th. Minutes after the girls last curtain call, we will be getting in the car to drive to Dulles Airport to fly to Spain. Yep, the show closes at 5:00 p.m. and we are in the car to head to Europe at 6:00 p.m. ....Seldom A Dull Moment!!

Carleigh and Katie play the roles of Gert and Golde the Goldfish in the Merworld.

Microsoft - Expert Educator

The most recent MIEE adventure was being recognized at the School Board Meeting. It was a nice time.  Andrew Ko, the GM of Microsoft Education for the U.S. was present to introduce me and share some more about the Microsoft Expert Educator Program.

Andrew Ko, me, my principal, Mr. Bell

As I create the posters, finish up the Digital Story Powerpoint shows that I will share with the international judges, the most recent highlight has been formal dress shopping for the final night "Gala Event" in Barcelona.

I got to spend the afternoon with my mom and my sister as we found the "perfect" dress and shoes for this black tie affair.

I also just recently found out who my international teacher team will consist of. I have been assigned to a team of 5 teachers to create a dynamic, innovative learning activity that aligns with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals that include Poverty, Sustainability and Gender Equality. We then present our project to a panel of international judges.  I will be working with teachers from Switzerland, South Africa, Brazil and Portugal. That's definitely going to be an adventure!!


Don loves them, we love them and they keep us entertained on a regular basis!! They are a highlight of our days!!


Though I love it, I've got to admit that I'm done with winter!! We have had 9 snow days currently and more are a possibility in the next week or so.

Our most recent was a good old Virginia Ice Storm. It was beautiful, but provided us with another day off!!

In our school district, when school is canceled...a phone call is sent out letting everyone know the status. The voice behind the phone call is our district Public Information Officer. He has become a bit of a celebrity in our county as everyone "Waits for Wayde" to call.  His picture has been Photoshopped in a variety of different ways over the past few weeks.

Well the girls were thrilled when they got the opportunity to meet Wayde IN PERSON!!  It became even better when they were able to get their picture taken with him. He's a great guy and the girls were instant celebrities when they posted this picture with Wayde - the voice of the snow days!!

So...there you have it! Juggling and Happiness - our lives are filled with adventures and opportunities. We are blessed to be able to travel and experience a lot of these events. As we work towards March 9th and our 10:55 p.m. departure for Barcelona, Spain I will continue to juggle and curate the happiness that is so important for our lives and our own Rahn wellbeing. WISH ME LUCK!!

Stay tuned for adventures as we pack and get ready to experience Europe...RAHN STYLE!!