A mother to two boys, wife to a local nurse practitioner, Craig Muller, and simply the best, and most encouraging person you could ever ask for, Lori Mueller finds joy in raising her tribe each day. However, Lori’s tribe extends beyond her two children as she describes her career as a kindergarten teacher at Pleasant Grove Independent School District. “This is my 12th year to teach; 11 of those in kindergarten, and one in pre-kindergarten my first year at Pleasant Grove. I previously taught kindergarten at Liberty-Eylau Primary School for six years.” Teaching is Lori’s second career. She spent time fighting the “teacher bug” as she refers to, and returned to school to complete her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A&M University-Texarkana in December 2012. However, being a teacher is only one of three contributions in her life that she is most proud of. Ranking at the top, is also her role as a wife and a mother. “My husband is very thoughtful; he is always making homemade cards for me or just little notes when you least expect it.” One year for Mother’s Day, Craig, along with sons, Luke and Grady, decorated a mason jar and filled it with notes about things they liked or admired about Lori. She describes it as a “simple reminder about how much love we have to give”.
Luke, an 18-year-old senior at Pleasant Grove High School, began Lori’s motherhood journey in 2002. After graduation, he plans to attend Ouachita Baptist University in the fall. Seeing her first born, Luke, and becoming a mom for the very first time, is Lori’s happiest memory. Making her a mother for the second time, Lori gave birth to Grady, who is nearing 14, and in the eighth grade at Pleasant Grove Middle School. Lori says, “Both of my boys are active participants in the football program at Pleasant Grove, and Luke has played baseball for Pleasant Grove all four years of high school. Grady is active in Dixie Baseball.”
Lori mentioned several things she is grateful for in her life. At the top of her list, God and her family. “They are there for me no matter what,” she exclaims. She is also thankful for her husband, both of their boys, and their dog. An additional blessing that some might find peculiar, is the extra time her family is experiencing during this quarantine season. “Like most parents, there have been some challenges, but considering the situation, it hasn’t been too bad. I consider myself lucky! Both of my boys are pretty independent, get up on their own most of the time, and they both do their own schoolwork! I have even looked at some of their work and I must admit, it is out of my league! However, there are days when I am so sad about the things my senior is missing out on, but then I am very grateful that we are getting to spend this extra time with him. We have enjoyed family meals each night, and the silly card games we have been playing. These are times I would not get with him if we were still in ‘normal times’. Both of my children are boys and they are taking this time way better than I would have at their age. They are pretty close, so this has been a great time for them to bond before Luke leaves for college!” Lori is also grateful for her friendships and treasures the times she gets to spend with lifelong friends. “One of the nicest things I do for myself is attending an annual trip with my girlfriends; I always come back refreshed and with a greater value on friendship too,” she says.
As a mother and a teacher, Lori has felt most inspired by the movie, The Blind Side. “I cried almost the whole movie. I was in my second year of teaching when the movie came out and I could totally relate to Sandra Bullock’s role and wanting to take children home! It just reminded me of a student I had my first year and I just wanted to bring him home with me. I do not know where the child lives now, but he will be one I will never forget. The role she played as a mother; she would do anything to protect all of her children,” she says.
Aside from loving her family, teaching, and enjoying friendships, Lori also loves the mountains and traveling. “Craig and I traveled to Whitefish, Montana, and Banff, Canada, for our 20th anniversary! It was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. We got to walk on top of a glacier, drank the purest water running in the crevices, and got to explore the Lake Louise area.” “I would love to travel London! Such amazing architecture and rich in history. I would love to get a glimpse of The Royal Family!”
Lori offers excellent advice, and it happens to be the most loving thing she considers doing for another human. “Sometimes, it is as simple as just listening to one another; not talking, not trying to give advice, but just listening!”
What the kids say…
Our Mom is:
She is very caring, helpful, and funny.
I really love it when our Mom:
Cooks for us.
Our favorite thing we love to do with our Mom is: Take our mom fishing, it is fun and funny to do!
My mom always tells us: To make our beds.
I love my Mom because: She is always there for us when we need her.