Happy 2014! Let the Joy Begin! {AND a Freebie!}

Fern Smith's One Little Word for 2014!
My friend Denise, at Sunny Days in Second Grade, has been running a terrific Linky Party every Monday. AND...every Monday I just know I will link up, then forget! Well this is her last one and it is one that is important to me, so I'm on it!
My one little one for 2014 is Trust. As in, 
Trust in the Lord with all you heart. ~Proverbs 3:5
I started writing this blog in the Spring of 2011. It was a way to introduce teachers to my TeacherPayTeacher store, but also a way to focus on the positive. AND.LET.ME.TELL.YOU.NOW...there was NOT a lot of the positive going around at my job back then. I never wrote anything on my blog that I wouldn't have my mother be proud of reading. I tell new bloggers, picture your blog post projected on a large screen in your cafeteria and it is you, your principal and your district Superintendent. Are you proud of what you wrote? Would your Mother be proud of what you wrote? Or are parents and teachers lined up ready to tie you to the stake and burn you in front of the school because of something you said about your students or faculty? My blog was never a place for me to talk about the craziness of policy, students, fellow coworkers... My blog was a place, especially for me, to share my products and ideas. Most important was the FREEBIES. I enjoy making things for the classroom and the feedback I get about the Freebies I share bring me immense joy. 
 My original FREEBIE at TPT, Addition Doubles Center Games, has been downloaded close to 111,000 times. I can only imagine all the little first and second graders playing this game Worldwide.
 So, back to my word, TRUST....
My Mother passed away November 14th at 1:00 am. I am an only child and I was able to sit with her for the last 11 hours of her life. She did not have to die alone. My Dad is 82 and lives with us, he is in a wheelchair with Parkinsons. We have taken care of him for the last four years. Although I'm only 47, we built this home as our retirement home when my husband retired from the Navy in 2010. We built this home specifically for my Dad's wheelchair, wide halls, large tile floors, his room is right by his bathroom, kitchen and living room. AND...it is only four miles from my Mom's nursing home. I am truly blessed that 10 years ago my husband married me, and took on the responsibility of my two children and then five years later, my two parents. On the morning of November 13th, my Father collapsed and hit his head on the ground. So now I getting dressed to sit with my Mom and meet with Haven Hospice and my Dad might have a concussion and can't handle getting to the nursing home to say goodby to my Mom. 
But God doesn't give us more than we can handle. 
My husband took over the care of my Dad that day, allowing me the chance to say Goodbye to my Mom. 
I never shared any of this on the blog, I just kept writing my weekly features, make products and sharing freebies. AND...this is why I tell you all this now, I'm so happy you were there, so happy my followers were reading my posts, pinning my pictures and downloading my freebies. We over 3,000 views a day, I knew you were out there, you kept me creative and busy and I thank you for the distraction! With my Mother passing, my Dad took a turn for the worse, and that's OK, that's why we're here to help him. TRUST...so I took a leap of Faith and I Trusted in the Lord's decisions, I am not returning to my classroom in 2014. I'm staying home to take care of my Dad and spend time with my friends online. My principal was amazing and kind, my real life teacher friends and my online blogging buddies were so supportive at a time I needed them the most. But, because of you, my readers, my followers, my friends...I can stay home and take care of my Dad. Thank you, I thank God for each and everyone of you each day. AND... that is why Trust is my Word of the Year!
Before you go, I invite you to click over to Denise's blog and follower her, I ♥love her, both online and in person. The first time I meet her and her husband, I was star*struck....pretty much said "Nice to meet you."  Then stared at her for the rest of the day! As we became friends on Facebook and networked in some FB groups, I "LIKE" pretty much every comment she makes, her own personal FB stalker! :)
To celebrate the New Year with my blog-friends I'm giving away one of my newest packets, 
Remember, you can only leave feedback today while it is free.
Happy 2014!
What's your word?
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