Saturday, December 22, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
A: No, not really. I mean, he's not really like us. More like a spirit.
B: Yeah, that's what I mean. He used to be a man but now that he's in Heaven, he is just a spirit again.
A: Right. He was a man like our dads but what made him different was God's spirit inside of him. Now his spirit is back with God in Heaven. He was both here on Earth but now he is just spirit - like God.
B: You know we will be like that one day. Just spirits with God. In Heaven.
A: Heaven is like here, right?
B: Yeah, but prettier and only our favorite things.
A: So I guess heaven is something really great. I don't get why people are afraid to die if it is so good.
B: Me either. With Jesus and God there, it will be pretty good.
At this point, my girl came and thrust a monster puppet she made in my face and I could no longer hear what they were saying. SIX YEARS OLD! The discussion of Christ's humanity vs. Christ's deity. Then, the talk of heaven. We all know how concrete that one can be. I have to admit, I feel very humbled to be able to sit (or stand) off to the side and listen to these beautiful conversations. One co-worker's boys hoot and holler at every girl that comes by them or that they see in a book. Another co-worker has many students that are just now learning the English language. Next door, my teammate is battling severe learning disabilities. Me? I have the spontaneous discussions about God and other deep spiritual matters. What a blessing!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
One of the areas in the Arboretum was the wetlands. Our guide called it "the Swamp". As soon as he said we were going into the swamp, one of my precious, sweet girls got a death grip on my hand and frozen in her tracks. I looked down at her saucer sized brown eyes and asked what was wrong. She told me she didn't want to go into the swamp because there were orges that lived there. Stifling a laugh, I took a few moments to reassure her that Shrek did not live in this swamp. She eventually joined the rest of the class. What an imagination!
My student that I blogged about two posts ago started a new medication on the day before the field trip. We were unsure how to prepare for this trip with her. We got an adult to be assigned specifically to her. To our amazement, she was the best behaved child on the trip. During a few moments of down time, my class ran around and played tag. She stood on the side and watched for a couple of minutes. Just as I was about to approach her, the first genuine smile I have seen this year exploded across her face. She ran into the mix and played with her peers. The next day, she was announced as the star student of the week for our class. The other students stood up, clapped for her, and yelled. She was so proud and the other students celebrated with her. I had to step in the hallway and cried tears of joy. The light is getting brighter everyday.
To kill time on the bus, my students took turns making up riddles. Here is my favorite (read as a script):
T: I am not a man but I my name is a man's name. I have a son who went away from me. He got nailed. Then he got un-nailed and came home to me. Who am I?
B: NO! Not Jesus! T said he had a son. Jesus didn't have a son. God did. Jesus got nailed!
Me: Why did Jesus get nailed?
T: We were bad. Then when Jesus got nailed, we weren't bad anymore. God was happy we weren't bad anymore and that is why Jesus got un-nailed.
B: Yeah, that is what I heard in my cad-i-chasm class!
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Today, for the first time, I broke down and cried. I was at school until almost 7:30 tonight getting the environment ready for some new actions we are putting into place to try to keep her in a regular ed classroom. Tomorrow, I have an hour and a half meeting to "get on the same page" and to make a few things legal. Then, we implement the new plan on Thursday morning. While I have great respect for the men and women coming up with this plan, I do not see the next few weeks being pleasant ones. I expect full resistance and pushing the limits by my girl and I have very little to give to her anymore. On the way home, all I could do to keep myself from pulling over and just falling to pieces was listening to Chris Tomlin singing "Everlasting God" over and over again.
Please pray for wisdom in how to interact with this child. In so many ways, I feel for her but I am almost to my breaking point with her. I beg you NOT to pray for patience! I am terrified of what that lesson might look like after seeing what our day in and day out dealings are. I just need a calm spirit and clarity of thought when choosing words and actions with her. Especially over the next two and a half weeks!
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
- One man stopped me in the produce isle and told me to keep my pretty smile. He mentioned that when we both came into the store, I smiled at him before turning to grab my basket. He said that he had seen me smile at everyone I came across as I was looking for fruits and vegetables. I don't remember seeing him at all before that moment.
- Another was a lady who saw my A&M shirt. Every time we passed each other, she smiled and said "Gig 'Em". Throughout the whole store. She was cute.
- An employee that was helping me find something in the frozen food section was SO friendly. He went on and on about Thanksgiving and what a great day it was. He was so excited and it was a bit contagious.
We never realize who we are going to meet or the impact we may have on them. At the same time, we never know how we will be affected. A simple reminder for our daily encounters. What a blessing!
Have a happy Thanksgiving!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Tonight is the first Tuesday night in several months I have spent at home. Last week was our last week in Esther with Beth and the Living Proof sisters. I am sad. I LOVED spending my Tuesday nights in DEEP study of the scripture. Not only that but I was surrounded by women who praised God with all of their might. Women lifting up His name is by far the most beautiful thing that I have seen. In the midst of praise and worship, I caught myself staring at the outpouring of praise that surrounded me weekly. It was breathtaking! I can only imagine how God himself felt.
Last spring when the Austin group finished Daniel, I really hated to see it end. After delving into a life so touched by God, I grew very attached. Since then, I have found myself flipping to various passages from Daniel just because I actually missed the book and all I learned there. It is now one of those spots that my bible just falls open to. I miss this man of God. I did not think that I would experience that attachment again with another book. However, much to my surprise, tonight I find myself missing Esther. She has come to represent trust and assurance in our great God. Through this book, I have seen God's faithful hand all over every decision and step I have taken thus far. I know that it is that same hand that will guide all steps to come.
Until I am able to be back with Beth, I am revisiting some old friends - the Patriarchs. I have loved these men who God so specifically worked through - flaws and all - for years. I am looking forward to revisiting these men and seeing what I can learn about our God through them. Here's to old friends, new understandings, and a rapid coming of January 8th!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
I believe that writing letters is a lost art form. Someone sitting down and taking the time to share themselves with us. Carefully chosen words, beautiful stationary, neat handwriting. If a page from a lady I have yet to meet can make me feel so good, wouldn't a few lines from those we care about contain that much more joy? How nice to find something worth while in the mail!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
When I accepted the position, I wasn't sure how I would like first grade. I have always heard that you either love it or hate it. I was anticipating not liking it at all only to be pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoy the little ones! Sure, there are rough days and even rougher students but they pale in comparison to the good stuff.
So....without further ado: Reasons I like first grade:
- We get to sing multiple times daily.
- We get to celebrate holidays and other significant events.
- The students are excited about learning and soak it up!
- Amazing academic growth!
- Learning all 70 phonograms and the cute movements/sayings that help us remember them. (I'll be happy to demonstrate - just ask)
- LOTS of hugs and holding hands!
- Losing teeth (especially when my sweet girl lost her two front silver teeth so her smile is even more beautiful now!)
- They look hilarious when they run.
- Two of my boys look like they belong in the Peanuts gang.
- We play games.
- They really do say the funniest things!
- NO TAKS TEST!
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I know that some of you are Borders fans but I am not. I find them to be crowded, busy, and cold. I LOVE Barnes and Noble! It is slower and quieter. It is inviting and warm. It is the perfect place to unwind and relax. As a book lover, I literally get lost in there for hours. It is the ultimate escape for me. I turn the cell phone to silent and move from book to book, slipping in and out of genre, realities, and interests. There are entire worlds in there to discover and nothing to disturb the beauty of it all. There is nothing like the quiet joy of the written world.
In heaven, I look forward to a room filled with the original scrolls to peruse with the ones who wrote them and the One that inspired them.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
When, because of your faith, your life too becomes perceptibly different; when your reactions are quite opposite to what the situation seems to call for and your activities can no longer be explained in terms of your personality; that is when your neighborhood will sit up and take notice. In the eyes of the world, it is not our relationship with Jesus Christ that counts; it is our resemblance to him.
This has become one of my new prayers: That my actions, words, and reactions can only be explained by whose I am, not who I am.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
I am SO drawn to these books! Some secrets are silly and fun while others will break your heart. Some are disturbing while others make you grin cheek to cheek. What is so freeing about sharing secrets and reading someone else's? I guess it is an unburdening of the soul. Maybe the thought of "Oh! It's not just me!" or "Wow! Maybe I don't have it so bad after all." Maybe it is the joy of sharing the best news you have heard today but you can't.
There is a blog that he posts every Sunday with new postcards that he has received. I thought long and hard about whether I should link it or not because of the nature of some of the post cards. I decided to do it. If you decide to look at it, I hope you are as drawn in as I am. Talk about a look into the human soul!
Thursday, November 01, 2007
I'm not sure if it is because I am so tired or my new routine but my favorite time of day has become bedtime! I look forward to it all day. Not in the depressed, "I don't want to deal with the world" kind of way but in the complete relaxation kind of way. Honestly! Every night, I put on the kettle to heat and go wash my face. I then return to the kitchen and make a cup of decaffeinated herbal tea. I go back to my bedroom, turn back to covers and crawl in. I indulge in a few chapters of my latest book while I sip my tea. When the tea is gone and chapters are finished, I turn off the lights and snuggle down in my covers, warm both inside and out. I am out in a matter of minutes. I love it!
Hot tea, a book, and an early bedtime....I am only 27, right!?
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Yesterday, I was very tired and, as the majority of you know, me + very tired = increased sensitivity and tears. I got hit pretty hard two times last night. The first time, I couldn't stop bawling. The second time, I was so tired that I was pretty much complacent. Still, today I am playing the glad game. So here are the things I am glad about today:
- A freshly cleaned car! I couldn't stop smiling as I drove her home. She's so pretty and smells so good!
- NOT waking up to an alarm clock!
- A new book - especially if it has anything to do with Jane Austen or Pride and Prejudice!
- Being able to open the windows on a beautiful day!
- Having time to finally clean the house!
- Having the desire to bake/cook!
- Knowing that the school is open on a Saturday and NOT going in!
- A good night's sleep in clean sheets!
What are you glad about today?
Monday, October 22, 2007
- A student in my district is sent home with a 99.1 degree fever. Teachers, however, are legal to work up to 100.4. I know because when I saw our school nurse on Friday, her exact words were, "100.1! You are .3 below the legal limit. You're fine. Here's a peppermint." Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this!?
- I don't know of any other profession where you are responsible for all of your duties when you are out sick. As at teacher, I still have to plan EVERYTHING with ever more detail and supply all materials needed no matter how high my fever is or how my body feels. Then, I have to catch up on everything that we skipped that couldn't be done with a substitute. Maybe I am wrong and need to be put in my place. Feel free to do so...
- A love seat just isn't as comfortable to lay on as a couch.
- Double doses of acetaminophen are NOT fun!
- Old movies make a sick person feel better more than any other movie. Bing Crosby, Audrey Hepburn, Judy Garland, and Halley Mills sure did this sick spirit good! Add hot tea and it was just right.
- I went to the pharmacy to get some medicine and when the pharmacist asked why I was standing so far away, I told him that I didn't want to breathe my germs on him. I've never seen a more grateful look on an older man's face.
- The best part of getting better is slipping into clean sheets and brushing your teeth with a new, germ free toothbrush. Life is good!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
There's no place like home.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Tonight, I am thankful for God's gift of random productivity.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
My district has a policy that we are under no circumstances allowed to share our own beliefs. I have also been told by administration that we are to stop any discussions about religion in the classroom. I have NEVER had my hands so tied. In the past, I could share my beliefs if asked and with the stipulation that I make it very clear that they are my own personal beliefs. The other day, I had to tell kids to stop talking about God. I had to tell them that God is for home, not school. As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. I said prayers of forgiveness right then and there. In the past, I flew under the radar but this year, my assistant principal's son is in my class and he happily shares his day with his parents. There is no way to fly that low.
How should I address this without getting in trouble yet, not kill my conscience?
Saturday, September 22, 2007
1. My new favorite colors are green and brown. I can't get enough of them.
2. When I go to the public library, I never check out less than ten books. Most of them are picture books but when you get in the double digits, they are still heavy. Currently, I have 21 items checked out. Thankfully, I can splurge at the library and not feel guilty about it!
3. I have this obsession with counting. I count everything! Especially stairs. There are 19 leading up to my apartment. Even though I know this, I still count every time whether I realize it or not. You think that I'm kidding but go look at the comment I left on Erin's tagged blog. I had to count the doctors. It's sad!
4. If I could have any job in the world, I would be a full time biblical researcher or write bible studies. It would combine my love of learning, teaching, and bible.
5. Female roles in fairy tales are a soap box for me. Ironically, I still love them. My favorite fairy tale of all time is "Beauty and the Beast". Yea for a girl with a brain and willingness to see beyond the exterior! Being nice and pretty will only get you so far in life. Good lessons for girls (and boys) to know.
6. I am not naturally organized at work. I have to put time and effort into it. Right now, there is no time and the classroom looks like a disaster. I want to pull my hair out. Now that would help the mess!
7. I'm thinking about taking a trip by myself within the next year. I don't know when or where but I'm seriously entertaining the thought.
8. I have recently used packing tape as pest control in my apartment. It worked. Can you say Redneck?
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I was very excited to hear she was working through Esther this semester mainly because I wasn't ready to finish Daniel last spring. Thankfully, Esther is close to that same time so I feel like this is a woman focused part two. Another reason that I'm excited about this study is because one of my favorite verses/scenes in the Bible comes from Esther. At the end of 4:15, Mordecai looks at Esther and basically says, "Look, God is going to do this with you or without you. But stop and look at where life has brought you!" Then he says the most daunting and uplifting words available. "How do you know that you have not been given a royal position for such a time as this?"
For such a time as this.... These words encourage me and haunt me to my core. Talk about humility! We spent a long time talking about how our past and current situations cannot be separated from our future destiny. How no hiding or running away can change every step God has led you to take. I won't say much more for Erin's sake.
I have noticed that there is something very different about this move to Houston. I told Mom that something feels very temporary about this year. I'm not sure if it is personal, professional, spiritual, or geographical. Something is not quite settled with me. There is a quiet rumble deep within. The odd thing about it is that I am really OK with it. I feel like there is something on the horizon and I have been placed here for such a time as this. Now I just need to turn my eyes to the one who directs my steps.
Monday, September 17, 2007
- I recently had pest control come for ants. Even though they are mostly gone, I keep feeling phantom bites. I think that ants are like lice - they make you itch when they aren't there.
- After three and a half weeks, one of my students still can't call me Ms. LaMore. She calls me Ms. Noah. She can get it if I stop and correct her but Ms. Noah is my default name in her little mind. I hope this does mean a lengthy rainy season....
- No matter how cool the playground equipment is, frogs and cicada skins are always more interesting.
- It's time to start writing again! Anyone have any suggestions on what you might eventually want to read about in short story form?
Saturday, September 15, 2007
We are currently interviewing candidates for a new 1st grade position. When did I become old enough and responsible enough to decide someone's professional future!? I've never done that before! It has been an interesting process to sit through.
Of the two pages I've turned, the biggest for me to wrap my mind around is that I am now officially saving for retirement! I sat down with a financial advisor yesterday and started planning for my future. How crazy is that!? All I kept thinking was "I'm actually about to start investing money. This is a big deal!" I know that retirement is a long way off but I would rather be ready for it the smart way rather than play catch up later. Starting early is a great thing!
It's funny how even though I don't feel like an adult most days, I find myself doing grown up things. From what I hear, that is all that life is - never feeling like an adult but making responsible choices. I guess we all just baby stepping our way into our adult selves. I can handle that!
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
The world needs more Pollyannas.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
When I think about a friend, I think about someone who is trustworthy, follows through on what they say, there for you in a heartbeat, fun, and honest about who they are. By those standards, Clayton is one of the best friends anyone could ask for. He tells it like it is but is a huge teddy bear. After spending time with Clayton, I know that I was with someone who cares about me. He has been there for me every time I have needed him to laugh or cry. Unfortunately, I'm sure he couldn't say the same about me. Then again, that is something wonderful about him - His friendship is constant even when I am not. It really speaks so much about him. He is driven and sure of not only who he is but what he wants. He is a rock!
Unlike the others I have posted about, I don't have my picture with Clayton. In fact, I found that I don't even have a recent picture of him. That will have to change! Even though you don't know what he looks like, you can know that if you ever get to count him as a friend, you will be blessed!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
If I ever write anything and you want to respond but are not sure how it will be taken, please respond anyway. I want to know how I come across and don't ever want anyone to feel like they can't express what they think to me. I hope that I never come across as someone you dread being open and honest with. I don't bite - I promise!
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Sunday, August 19, 2007
First, I have observed that my current breakfast cereal looks like cat food. Now, having never tasted cat food, I have no idea how the two compare. The cereal tastes much better than cat food smells so that may be some indicator. Still, my cereal looks like cat food.
Secondly, I have learned that I am an obsessive packer. While getting ready to move and now setting up the classroom, I feel the need to use every cubic inch of a box or container. I used to joke that I could make a shoe box weight 50 pounds. Now, it isn't so much a joke. I've been trying to organize and get the cabinets/room in order at school. Rubbermaid and Sterilite are my newest friends. I found myself repacking boxes just to get that one extra supply in. No wonder it is taking so long to get the room unpacked! My sweet friend Bonnie can attest to this. She saw me do it while packing the apartment. It's sick.
Now for the embarrassing confession. I told myself that it was "research". I told myself that I was doing this to have something in common with my students. I've seen High School Musical. I LOVED Hairspray. On Friday night, my DVR recorded High School Musical 2. I've already watched it. No matter what I may say about my selfless act "for the kids", it was not. I must admit today, openly and honestly, that I am a fan of Zac Efron. He has talent and some beautiful eyes. I am REALLY embarrassed about this fact. I am a sad, sad 27 year old!
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I have always hated the question, "What would you be if you weren't a __________?" I have always wanted to be a teacher. As stressful and time consuming as it is, it is all that I have ever thought about or known. However, I have discovered something that I would like to do if the teaching thing ever fell through.
Lately, I have grown an intense interest in the brain. How does it work? What makes people act and react the way that they do? What is stimulating to the brain? What affects it and how so? How does the brain respond to aesthetics around us? How does our diet affect our brains? How can we best activate and expand our minds? Why are different people wired different ways? Really light stuff, right!? I noticed this interest when I read The Female Brain this summer. I couldn't put it down. It was SO interesting to see how finely tuned we are and how our minds can be affected by the slightest things. AMAZING! Then, in a workshop last week, we had some bilingual teachers in our group. The presenter asked which language they dream in: English or Spanish? My attention was caught and they said they couldn't remember. She shared resent research that is finding that that the mind dreams and thinks in pictures. She went into what this means for our students. I couldn't help but notice some people bored out of their minds but I was so caught up in the discussion.
So...if I weren't a teacher, I think that I would be a brain researcher. I don't have any background for any kind of masters in that but I'm may look into educational psychology or something along those lines. I don't know. It may stay an interest that I read about and then get my masters in library sciences. I could be Marion the Librarian who happens to read about brains.
What a weirdo!
Friday, August 10, 2007
After two weeks with no internet, I got it back! I cannot tell you how excited I am! It is really ridiculous it is that I have come to need it. Insane! The good thing about no internet is that you can get so much done! Here are the pictures of the new apartment! It is really spacious and has high vaulted ceilings. Not sure if the pictures show either of those very well but there it is! Hope you are all doing well and I'll be blogging more (starting tomorrow!). Love and miss you all (except for Erin and Gregg who I get to see more)!
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
I really don't like to pack. This isn't earth shattering and many people share the same opinion. I just didn't realize that in myself before this week. I find myself become resentful of the time that I spend putting things in boxes instead of with those I care about most. I feel like my priorities have been off for days now. I know that isn't true but when the calender is ticking off days until you leave, the boxes just don't feel as important. The people do.
No matter how much I get done, I keep finding more stuff! Where is it coming from!? I am tired of packing it. At least I am able to de-pack-rat. Yea for dumpsters!
I really don't like the smell of cardboard boxes. I am thankful that Glade or Febreeze have not dedicated a spray to that sent. And if they did, who is the person who would buy it. Yuck!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
When Mom had her surgery, sitting and waiting was intense. We all sat around and visited but every time someone walked into the room, we were all very aware of it. I remember when Dr. Massey came to let us know how things went, I felt like I couldn't get to him fast enough. I was prepared for seeing Mom with the IV and in pain but I was NOT prepared for having to leave everyday. I had a HARD time saying goodbye and leaving her alone at night. I don't know why but that was very difficult for me to deal with. I cried all three times and I'm sure it would have happened again had I been able to go up on the fourth night.
A few years ago, Dad had a bad bout with kidney stones. I don't remember exact details about it but I do remember having to go get the neighbor to help carry him to the car because he was in so much pain he couldn't walk alone. That was the longest run across the back yard I ever made. I had never seen Dad hurt like that before. I had never seen him need to lean on someone else to intensely. It was really scary.
I don't know anything about being a parent but I definitely know about being the daughter. No matter what, I still need my parents. Not in the same ways as when I was a little girl but in that way that we all still need to have someone to lean on and cling to. Relationships have changes into something more beautiful. Now we are more friend and mentor than in the past but the need is still there. Unfortunately, I take so much of that for granted sometimes. It is in those uncharacteristic moments that I am reminded how much I still need my mom and dad around. I know how blessed I am to have such an amazing, loving relationship with them when so many don't. It humbles me and makes me thankful at the same time. Our family is definitely a rare jewel to be treasured!
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Maybe I'm just being a dumb girl.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in Denver cheering on some of my favorite men. When the scores and rankings were released, 10th in the world, there was so much excitement and joy! Years of hard work (especially this past year) that it couldn't be contained when all was said and done. The next night, we jumped to our feet in applause as winning quartets were announced. Even though I do not know these men, just watching them celebrate with each other and the complete joy on their faces made their elation contagious.This past year, I watched a co-worker plan her wedding. As the time grew nearer, her adoration towards her fiance grew and her voice and face reflected her growing love for him. It was so heart warming! She could hardly wait to be his wife. It reminded me of Erin during her engagement. What I have loved about watching she and Gregg is that I see that same adoration grow the longer they are married. I caught it in a picture once. It is one of my favorite pictures of her. Isn't is sweet!
What in the world could be better than sharing in the abundant joy of someone else?
Saturday, July 14, 2007
So what you are all waiting to hear. I received a VERY last minute call today from a principal in Katy offering me a first grade position at Wolfe Elementary. Pending approval from the board and release from my San Marcos contract, I will be moving to Katy in about two weeks. It is very fast and very sudden but I have no doubt that this is where God wants me to be. For the first time, I have no reservations about anything involving this position. There is no way that I should have been offered this position based upon my previous experience but they chose me. It is going to be very challenging to relearn a grade level so significantly different than I have experienced but I am looking forward to it. The school is off of I-10 and Hwy 6 (almost not Katy ISD). It is a Title One school and has a very diverse population that it serves. I am very excited to be in this setting. The team seems wonderful and I am incredibly impressed with the principal. I am looking forward to being closer to Erin and Gregg, catching backup with my best friend from college, attending Beth Moore on Tuesday nights, and starting to find a new church home. I am SO excited!
The next two weeks will be full of wrapping up work in San Marcos, packing, finding a place to live, and saying good bye to dear friends that have come to mean the world to me. While I am very excited about moving forward, I am dreading saying good bye to those I have grown to love so much. Most here don't even know that I have been interviewing so those will be very hard conversations to have. I have already mapped out when I can come back to visit and they fall about once a month. That is very encouraging! I just hope that follows through.
While some of you may have become frustrated with me during this time, I want to thank you for your patience and prayers. You have NO idea how much they have meant to me throughout this process. For someone who has a tendency to be indecisive (yes, I did hear some of you snicker), it has been overwhelming. I appreciate all of you so much.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Lately, it has come to my attention that I have a tendency to view things a little bit unrealistically. I've been told that I have read too many books and seen too many movies. I have expectations about how people and life should be. I don't think they are too far fetched but lately, I have been doubting myself. I believe that life should have a driving force and be full of passion (not necessarily romantic passion but love for something and strong conviction). I believe that there are men out there who can tastefully pursue a lady. While being "one of the guys" can be great, there is a place in me that wants the friendship but also more. I believe that decisions should be made with purpose and meaning - not just because that's where the wind blows. I dream of things that I would love to do but they all seem so far out of my reach.
Maybe my head is in the clouds and I need to get it back down to earth. But for now, isn't it nice to just dream of what life like that would be like if....
Monday, July 09, 2007
This morning at 3:30, I got home from a week in Denver at the Barbershop Harmony Society International Competition. I can't even think about how to sum this week shortly. It was SUCH a blast!
I was apprehensive going into last week. I had a feeling that told me this would be my last trip to internationals. As the week went on, that feeling quickly left. I've made one decision this week - I will either have to marry a barbershopper or a very understanding man. I was talking to a man that I met from Nashville and we decided that this week is like summer camp for adults. Everywhere you looked, there were friends meeting up after not seeing each other for a year. There were things to do all week, pictures to be taken, songs/tags to sing, and people to meet. At the end of the week, email addresses and phone numbers were exchanged, hugs were given, people were exhausted and were saying "See ya next year!" I met some amazingly wonderful new people. I got OC Times new cd. I spent some time with good friends from home. I got to know a few people from HOT better than I did before this week. At one point, I got to go to the judge's box and talk to one of them that I know. When I turned around saw the thousands of people facing the stage, I was quite intimidated.
The chorus made top ten after years of hard work! They did a cowboy set. The man who arranged their ballad was a judge and he told them that they brought to life exactly what his mind had conceived when he wrote the piece. The uptune was wonderful and funny. We were so excited and had an afterglow in one of a member's suite. The chorus that won blew us all away. (They are on America's Got Talent so watch for Westminster Chorus tomorrow night on NBC!) The next night, there was an amazing quartet finals. The quartet that won was incredible! I didn't want them to win last year but this year, I was so excited for them. They were SO funny and AMAZINGLY talented. My favorite quartet came in second so that was also exciting!
What a great week! The perfect break that I needed with no worries or concerns about anything. I literally left everything here and just had a blast. There are so many new memories and friends. It was the most relaxing and fun week that I have had in a while.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Have a happy 4th and enjoy your week!
Saturday, June 30, 2007
A little bit before 7:00 on Wednesday night, Erin, Gregg, and I were sitting around talking about what to do that night. Erin turned to me with a twinkle in her eye and mentioned that Sweet Charity was playing at Sarofim Hall. We jumped on line to play with the thought and saw that our price range had seats available. When Erin mentioned this aloud, Gregg told us to go. We both looked at him and said, "Really!!?" He said yes. We were dressed and out the door in less than five minutes. We made it to the theater district, bought tickets, and ate before the show started at 8:00. It was so much better than what we had seen in New York.
That is one of many things that I love about Gregg. He lets my sister do artsy things (like shows) with me. She is the first one that I call for those types of things. I'm pretty blessed to have an amazingly understanding brother-in-law that will send his wife off on weekends, trips, shows, and museums with me once in a while. For all I know, Gregg may be thankful for me because I get him out of some of the things he doesn't necessarily want to do. I understand that these aren't really his thing but I think that is part of what makes their relationship so strong. While they are definitely "Erin and Gregg", he is still "Gregg" and she is still "Erin". He has basketball and poker while she has Beth Moore and girls' nights. They share what is important to each other but also have their own things that they love and do. They have learned new things to enjoy from each other but they have also kept their own individualities I have to say, that is something that I really hope I have one day. They have set the bar for me and Gregg has set a bar for his future brother-in-law. I am thankful that he understands out close relationship. Yep, Gregg is pretty great!
Monday, June 25, 2007
I have come to realize something about myself through this whole process. I am one huge walking contradiction. For example, the things that I love most (travel, bookstores, theater, etc) are all city types of things. I love the life that a city can provide. On the other hand, I long for a place where I can sit and see forever into the starry night, uninterrupted by city lights. I love rivers and beautiful old oak trees and fields of wild flowers. To crave both seems hard to reconcile when choosing a place to plant roots and call home.
Another example: I love my friends and family to no end. I love to be close to them and see them often. Yet, a part of me wants to break out and try new places and new things. The comfort and adventure of it all seems to not weave together easily.
Despite the inner questions that float through my mind, I write this with more peace than I have had in a few weeks. I'm not sure what the next couple of weeks will hold but tonight, I feel calm. Calm is good....
Friday, June 22, 2007
I was at a friends house in their backyard. It was a very pleasant evening with a gentle breeze. The yard was filled with majestic oaks and cool, dew kissed carpet grass, We all ran around barefooted. Their dog was leashed to a zipline so he could run without actually jumping on us. We were tossing a frisbee as the dog tried to keep up. My friend's wife came out and asked him to come in to help her for a minute. We all collapsed upon blankets and stared at the star filled sky. We saw a piece of a space station that had been separated from the main unit float parallel to the earth. As we looked closer, we noticed that something red was appearing right above it. Breaking through the night sky, a HUGE, fire kissed meteor came out of nowhere. We watched it fall towards the earth south of the horizon. We knew two things: it was going to be very loud when it hit and this was it. I covered my ears and rolled from my back onto my right side in the fetal position. The meteor collided with earth and the blast was shattering. I felt the sound waves carry me off of the blanket and float me out into the sky. As I continued to feel the push of blast behind me and the pull of space before me, all that I could calmly think was "I'm ready now. Come take me home."
When I woke up, the clock said 5:30 and I was as clammy as a sick person. My heart was racing and it took a few moments to realize where I was. It took me a while but I finally went back to sleep. This time, I dreamed of a road trip to California. Back to my usual dreams. However, today, the meteor dream is the one sticking with me.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
One of the books that I want to read this summer is a biography of Eleanor Roosevelt. I am very intrigued by her and the work that she did. I can't wait to learn more about who she was. As I have anticipated looking for a book on her, it has made me wonder: If anyone wrote a biography about me, what would be in it? What would be the defining moments? How would I be remembered? What characteristics would be put in print for the world to see?
These thoughts are very humbling. It makes me very aware of what I say and how I come across to others. After all, when all is striped away, others will determine how you are remembered. It has also reinforced the fact that our pasts are the road maps to not only who we are but who we will be. Our experiences mold our thoughts, actions, reactions, and words. They catch us off guard in the most pleasant and heart breaking of times. They tell who we are and how far we have come.
When all is finished and we are part of the past, what will people say about us?
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Watch out! He's gonna be a heart breaker!
Saturday, June 16, 2007
The thing about telemarketers is that they leave messages that are not the best. You know, half of a phone number here, number with no name there. Usually, I hit the play button and walk out of the room. Lately, there is one message that I have been getting every day. At first it annoyed me to no end but now it makes me laugh.
Everyday, when I hit play, a woman in on my machine saying "Please call Mr. Phelps office at..." and leaves a number. She never says why or what the call is in regards to. After the initial annoyance wore off, I had to laugh at her unwavering commitment to leave messages for someone who will NOT be returning the call. Then, a couple of days ago, I started wondering why the name Mr. Phelps was so familiar. Then it hit me. I have been getting calls from a top secret government agency with the request to call and get my mission to save America! Everyday, when I hear that message, I laugh. Whatever happens to our country, I apologize in advance. I will not be returning his call and I will not chose to accept the mission. After all, I don't want my phone to self destruct.....
Friday, June 15, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
I would have done this on my own and not posted it but since Erin asked (and I love her oh so much), here is my version of the iPod game. If for no other reason, you can see my taste in music and maybe find someone new to listen to. Some actually hit the nail on the head - scary! Enjoy!
- How do you feel today? - Black Horse and the Cherry Tree by KT Tunstall
- What's your outlook on life? - Peace Train by Cat Stevens
- What does your family think of you? - Love Train by The O'Jays
- What do your friends think of you? - One Short Day from Wicked
- What do your exes think of you? - Always On Your Side by Sheryl Crow
- How's your love life? -Because of You by Kelly Clarkson
- How will your love life be in the future? - All You Need is Love by Lynden David Hall (remake of the Beatles)
- Will you get married? Love Me by OC Times
- Are you good at school? - Red Dress by Maia Sharp
- Will you be successful? - Thank Goodness from Wicked
- What song should they play on your birthday? - Better Days by Goo Goo Dolls (Yikes!)
- What song should they play at your graduation? - All Over The World by Tree63
- The soundtrack of your life? - Colorful by Rocco DeLuca (Yes please!)
- You and your best friends are? - Stand by Rascal Flatts
- Happy times - Save the Last Dance for Me by Harry Connick Jr.
- Sad times - Lost by Michael Buble'
- Every day - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For by U2
- For tomorrow - Audience of One by Audio Adrineline
- For you - Sway by Michael Buble'
- What does next year have in store for you? - Let Love In by Goo Goo Dolls
- What do you say when life gets too hard? - Pure Imagination/Candy Man by Harry Connick Jr.
- What song will you dance to at your wedding? - Seasons of Love from Rent
- What do you want as your career? - Faith My Eyes by Caedmon's Call
- Your favorite saying - Express Yourself by Charles Wright
- How will you die? - Sleep All Day by Jason Mraz
Thursday, June 07, 2007
I hope to be planning a trip in the next couple of weeks. There is a good chance that I may be going to Denver for a few days with some friends. There is talk of a spontaneous kayaking trip in the near future. I've been thinking about Atlanta because that would allow me to be in a city by myself but know someone there (just in case). Who knows. With a move coming up, I can't spend too much money. We'll see....
Love, love to you all!
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Monday, June 04, 2007
Then, last weekend, I got to spend hours with my friends at Caleb's house. I laughed more in that night than I had in the past few weeks combined. When I got home the next day, the apartment was quiet and it made me realize what I am sacrificing for my wonderful job. Again, I have been torn about next year. I've been in a out of prayer for the past week about which is more important: the job I love and spend most of my days doing or the people that I love. Should be a no brainer but for some reason, it's not.
This morning, I woke up at 5:00 burdened about next year. I laid in bed and prayed for almost an hour. As I was getting ready for work, the DJs that I listen to were offering up career advice about staying in one place to establish yourself. Then, as I was about to walk out the door, I got a call from an elementary in San Antonio. We set up an interview for 2:00 tomorrow. I got off the phone and couldn't breathe at the idea of leaving my school. In proximity to the people I love, it would only put me 15 minutes closer.
Friday, June 01, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
It seems, lately, that the question of people's goodness and upbringing keep popping up at random times. Call me Pollyanna, but I have faith in the generations to come. There is always the bad apple but there is so much more good than bad. We can choose to focus on the bad and shake our heads or chose to look towards our bright stars. We can give up on those that need us most or we can see the potential in them and push them to be better than they are. I chose the latter. I may end my days with hands full of my own hair but I chose to not give up. There is too much beauty in this world to say that the future generations are doomed.
Here are some quotes from Anne. If she can truly hold these ideals while people were seeking her life, I hope that we can humble ourselves to seek the good in those around us.
It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
I don't think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Part of me thinks vandalism is a phase but we had to fight it this year in fourth grade. However, I have to disagree with Cryssy. It will not downward spiral from here. The hope that I have is that children (and even adults), are like dogs....we can all be trained. As humans we are innately selfish but we can learn to think beyond ourselves. The about the Greatest Command. We have to be told to love other people because it does not come naturally for us. It takes time and lots of frustrating work but we can teach people how to behave and respect. I have parents come talk to me about their children and they are trying so hard to work with their kids behaviourally and academically. One thing that they constantly say is, "I was difficult in school/at home when I was their age but I am different now. I know what my parents and teachers went through. They were right, I do understand now." I think until we break the selfishness of adolescence, destruction will be a problem but they will learn that there is another way. Maybe for their kids but also for themselves. Some may take involving the law but they will learn. This is one of the lessons that I have finally learned as a teacher this year. No matter how hard it may be for us, we can teach a child how to behave. We may want to pull our hair out at times but we can do it.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
"So what brings this up?" you may ask. Tonight I was sitting at my desk grading papers and listening to my iTunes. Back to back, the following artists come up: Michael Buble, Willie Nelson, The Weepies, Tegan and Sara, and Rocco DeLuca. At that moment, I stopped grading and thought, "Where did that come from!?" We all know that Mom and Dad did not instill a love for Michael Buble's style let alone anything by Willie Nelson. I think that Papaw was a country music fan but I don't remember listening to the radio with him. Does taste in music skip a generation? While I can attribute some of my outstanding taste in music to my folks, I am lost as to where the rest of it came from. In fact, I'm confident that they have never heard of most of the artists in my Nano.
I guess this is one of those nature and nurture things....
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
I know this may sound very contradictory to what I have been blogging about but when it came down to it, I don't want to leave me school. I am part of an amazing team, the training is unbeatable, and I believe in the curriculum. I am being set up for promotion here. I feel like this is where I need to be. I am very peaceful right now.
So now it is time to house/apartment hunt. I am looking forward to that quite a bit. I have about 7 days left of school and then about two weeks of training in June. It will fly by but I am excited about it.
Friday, May 18, 2007
- I really don't like very big statues of people. Think Statue of Liberty (NYC -151 feet or 305 feet if you include the base), Christ Redeemer (Rio de Janeiro - 125 feet), Sam Houston (Huntsville - 69 feet)... People are not supposed to be that big! God did not intend us to be more than a few feet tall. Your nose should not be the size of a large infant! While the site of the Statue of Liberty was very cool, it was also incredibly creepy. I didn't actually spend much time looking at her. The thought of someone's eye being the same height that I am is not impressive - it is wrong!
- Octopuses are not interesting - they are gross! Did you know that they can "pour" themselves into a bottle through a hole in the lid the size of a quarter? They can change their color and texture in the blink of an eye. They can be as small as your thumb or as big as 20 feet long. Every sucker on their tentacles can taste everything they touch. They can learn things (like opening jars) just by watching others almost like the Borg (that's right Dad - I made an educated Star Trek reference). This is not fascinating, it is disturbing! There is a reason that it is depicted as a sea monster in so many bad horror movies!
What weird things disturb you?
Thursday, May 17, 2007
I think that I am just really ready for stability. A good school district, a place to put down roots, to be part of a community of people in my stage of life seeking out the same things.
Sorry to be a rambling Debbie Downer....
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
The Blessing by John Waller
Let it be said of us
While we walked among the living
Let it be said of us
By the ones we leave behind
Let it be said of us
That we lived to be a blessing for life
Let it be said of us
That we gave to reach the dying
Let it be said of us
By the fruit we leave behind
Let it be said of us
That our legacy is blessing for life
You set life,
You set death right before us,
Every blessing and curse is a choice now
And we will choose to be a blessing for life
Let it be said of us
That our hearts belonged to Jesus
Let it be said of us
That we spoke the words of life
Let it be said of us
That our heritage is blessing for life
Cause blessing and curses are choice now
Will we build up, tear down, the moment of truth is now
For your Kingdom,
For our Children,
For the sake of every nation
We will choose to be a blessing for life
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
As I waited in one of many lines, I got to thinking about my kids and my coworkers. I really love them all. The women are such hard workers with a true heart for their students. They are my mini-family. We are up on best practices and are held to a high standard. I am the teacher that I am today because of this district. I am challenged because they pull the best from me. Professionally, I am making a good name for myself here and am respected. There is room for growth and promotion for me here. My decision to move is not one related to work. It is an attempt to make a better life for me. Ms. LaMore is very happy where she is but Dana is not. While I am thankful for Southern Hills, I am looking for a church with a more active singles group and more opportunities to study and serve. My closest friends are moving in about a month so I am NOT looking forward to that. I am ready to make some settling moves in my life. I want to make a home somewhere and start planting roots. I'm ready for permanence but there are aspects of that life style not readily available for me in San Marcos.
I guess I find myself in a struggle. Leaving San Marcos CISD will be so much harder than I originally anticipated. Where is the line that separates Ms. LaMore from Dana? How can I make both happy when the decision to leave takes me from a GREAT district but staying means losing out on every other aspect of my life? I know that the answer to that question should be easy but for some reason, it's not.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Monday, April 30, 2007
Sunday, April 29, 2007
While camping and walking, I realized a couple of things:
- When we least expect it, we can see what we have learned from our parents. Dad and I were going along and we came to a decline. Without even thinking about it, we were taking smaller, in step strides moving heel-toe all the way down. In that moment, I had a flash back to being about eight and Dad stopping Erin and I from running down the hill at full speed. He slowed us down and taught us how to take our time and go carefully to avoid getting hurt. As I remembered that moment, I had to laugh to myself. Funny how a simple moment can teach such a big lesson. At 27 years old and faced with obstacles of all kinds, I slow down and take one careful step at a time. No full force, trip yourself over your feet running. Just heel-toe all the way down to safety. Just like Dad.
- I find myself in peace with God's creation. After we made it up the steepest incline, Dad and I stopped to catch our breath. As I turned around, I saw a sea of green before me. Countless shades faded in and out of each other as tree branches tangled and interwove. We saw countless different wildflowers, lizards, birds, and different plants. We found a spot where the water was running out of the rock and between smaller rocks. The night before, I caught myself staring at the trees around our spot. They were beautiful. The strong granite around us was quite a majestic sight. I think it was the most still I have been in weeks. Seeing the brilliance of the world around me made me feel connected to creation and the one who set it into place. Everything was untouched and just as God intended it to be. As much as I love the things of the city, I want that all of the time. Some land to live on with a comfortable house, a nice back porch to sit on, and a sunset to take my breath away.