Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Mom wanted directions for embedding a video into your blog. So in order to give her specific directions, I thought I would do it and record what I did step by step. So here is a short song that I listen to more than I would like to admit. Joshua Radin is one of my new favorite singers. This is one of my favorite's from his newest album called I'd Rather Be With You.

Closure: Day Two

Due to flooding, there were five districts closed yesterday in the Houston area. There were partial closures in several others. It was a nice treat. Everywhere else in the state was TAKS testing but not us! Apparently facebook is VERY popular with teachers on days off. :) It was SO nice. My apartment and car got lots of love. I got about three quarters of the way through The Atonement Child, watched Slumdog Millionaire, and cooked. It was a nice treat to get some things done that I didn't get to this weekend because of camping. I ended my day refreshed and ready to head back to work.


Due to the high water in the reservoir, six Katy schools and one Cy-Fair school are remaining closed today. Guess who works in one of the six closed schools..... Can I just say, I'm so ready to go back to work. Let's get TAKS over, get back in our routine, and not have to make up any more bad weather days! They have said that they are concerned about run off into the reservoir making the waters rise. I do get that and appreciate their putting our safety at such a high value. However, I just checked trusty and the highest our rain chances get today is between 20 - 40% depending on which news website you use. Watch out!

So I've made a list of the things I planned on doing this Saturday and am going to knock those out. I'll finish The Atonement Child (which is VERY good, by the way!!). Then, my team is meeting up for lunch and we are going to knock some lesson plans out. Yes, we are over achievers like that!

Sidenote - My principal went up to check in the school yesterday and looked in on our chicks for us. They are in my teammate's room and needed food/water. All he said was that they stink to high heavens! That will NOT be a fun room to go back to!

I never thought I would choose to go back to work over a day off!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Famous Last Words

"I'm so thankful that I won't be moving or changing jobs this year. What am I going to do with my summer!?"

"Next year will be SO great! I can't believe that our entire team will be the same for two years in a row!"


Yesterday, I got home from a wonderful weekend of camping, put things away, and checked my email. Sitting in my work inbox was an email from my principal. It turns out that he has decided to move my position for next year. I will no longer be a first grade teacher or even a regular ed classroom teacher. I will be an oddie and the teacher that you don't want your child to have. I will be working with the students most in need. I'll be spending my mornings working with small intervention math groups (3rd - 5th grade) and my afternoons with small intervention reading groups (Kinder - 2nd grade). That is right - I will be a Kinder - 5th grade teacher. Wrap your head around that one!! :)

Now, this is VERY out of the blue! I had NO idea this was even in the works. Turns out that my principal didn't even think about it either. However, I am finally wrapping my brain around it. I don't handle change well - even if it is good. I'm NOT looking forward to leaving my team. There were tears last night as I thought about the change and again this morning as I told my team. It will be hard for us all but I am finding more to be excited and thankful for now that the initial shock is over. Honestly, I'm very honored that he would trust me to work with our lowest babies. It is such a huge job! The announcement will be made campus wide on Friday.

So this summer is all about learning various curriculums and moving/setting up rooms. Oh can't be boring, can it? :)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

After the Final Campfire

This weekend, our life group went to Martin Dies Jr State Park over by Jasper, TX. Friday night to Sunday morning, there was nothing but the great outdoors. Here are a few of the highlights from the weekend:

1. I helped pitch a tent for the first time on Friday and then I put it away by myself this morning! Amazing how something can make you feel so inept and so accomplished at the same time....

2. Falling asleep to the sound of rain on your tent one night and frog/crickets the next increases your chances for a better night's sleep (if you are on a good air mattress). :)

3. On Friday night, the kids were so tired they were actually asking to go to bed! When does THAT ever happen???

4. No matter how good a breeze/wind feels, don't forget the sunblock - ouch!

5. You know you are a teacher when the first thought you have upon walking up on an armadillo in the middle of the night is, "I wish I had my camera so I could show my kids!"

6. The roots of a magnolia tree are SO cool!

7. It is fun to see people in relationships interact with one another for longer than a couple of hours. I know some amazing parents and some incredibly sweet couples.

8. Little ones get really dirty incredibly fast!

9. I am amazed how you can be so rested and so exhausted at the same time!

10. Holly and Josh have the patience of saints to take such good care of me this weekend!

11. I would be tickled pink if my husband is someone who enjoys camping/fishing/etc. He would have to teach me a lot but I could stand to do this a lot more often!!

Overall, it was a great weekend! God knew I would need it because life hit the ground running as soon as I got back (but that is another post you'll see in a few days). Now if you will excuse me, I have a date with laundry and aloe vera.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More of Life's Mysteries

So it turns out that there are more than three mysteries in life. I know - shocking! So here are a couple more that I have come up with:

4. How come the more time you have to get ready for something, the later you tend to be? (or is that just me?)

5. Why is it on the days that I am well rested, my fuse is shorter with my students but when I go to bed at 1 a..m., I have the patience of Job? (maybe that was a fluke, not a full blown mystery)

6. How come motivation increases as the incentive for it decreases?

I'm going to sit on this last one for a minute or two. Thanks for indulging me! I think that I have mentioned that at work, there is a Biggest Loser competition going on. Well, turns out that isn't me because I have been plateaued for the entire time. There is a two pound window that I cannot break out of. One week I am at the low end and the next I'm on the high end. FRUSTRATING! So every week that you don't lose, you put a dollar in the pot. Let's just say that someone is reaping the benefits of this window of mine. So I'd been thinking about pulling out because it is more frustrating than motivating (for me and my wallet). I went in on Friday morning for weight in and our nurses have traded off that duty. Not a big deal - I thought. I stepped on the scale and there it was - the higher end of the window. The nurse writes it down, looks at me and says, "Up again, huh? You've had to pay in a lot. What's up with that!?" Well, I felt like I had been punched in the gut so I just faked a smile and walked out in shock. Let's call it the straw that broke the camels back and maybe I was over reacting but I was pretty insulted by that so I emailed our nurses and pulled out. I definitely didn't want her working with me anymore!

Fast forward to today.... While looking for something else, I ran across all of my class photos from years past. From first year to this year, there were all of my kids. SO much fun!!! And man, have I changed too! Then in the afternoon, I took my kids to take pictures and play with our baby chicks (we have two - WOO HOO!). So cute! Well, after I took their pictures with the chicks, I wanted one too. A girl took mine but I didn't look at it until later. As one of my boys likes to say, "Holy Potato Pots!" Not only am I at my highest weight ever, my clothes don't fit so well any more, and I found good pictures from back in the day, that chick photo lit the fire under my rear to get back in shape! Now that I am out of the contest, I have some serious motivation! Now I have a new goal set for the beginning of the next school year that is safe and reachable. I have found some exercises that are safe for my back. Now it's time to get going! And there is no outward incentive...... *Sigh*

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Three of Life's Mysteries

1. How come your bed is always more comfortable on days that you have to get up than on days when you can just lay there if you would like to?

2. Why is it that the more rested you are, the more tired and puffy your eyes/face look?

3. Why is it that people who have not taken any interest in you or your life for the past year and a half are suddenly very interested in you after you have finally made the decision to invest in finding a peer group somewhere else?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Memory Verse - April 15

When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. - Proverbs 10:19

In the past few weeks, I've really been thinking about the words I use. They truly are a blessing or a curse! Whether I am speaking thoughts over myself or over someone else, they reveal so much about my heart and the motives behind it. To say that it has been a humbling meditation would be an understatement.

I would very much like to learn the art of blessing others around me with my words. To actually hold my tongue when it would be nice to just vent about someone would be an act of God Himself. I have to admit that it has gotten much worse than I would like it to be. Not only over others but over myself as well. I find my thoughts (unspoken words) to be condemning rather than edifying. I don't wish to become boastful in my mind but rather look into the words that God speaks over me and implant His truth in my heart. Then, from that, overflow His truth for others to them. Edification rather than gossip or degradation.

So while I am learning the lessons of words, I am attempting to hold my tongue for the time being. Until I can speak lovingly of others, I will wait. Get the heart right and then let the overflow of words begin.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lessons from Lent

Today is Easter and it has been a day of celebration and rest. As it reminds of us the significance of Christ's sacrifice, it brings the Lenten season to a close. For the past 46 days, I committed to a fast from television. Three hours a week was all I allowed myself but I didn't even use that most weeks. It was there for grace because we all need a little of that. :) Some may think that this doesn't sound like that big of a sacrifice but take two things into mind - 1) for you Spurs fans, that like watching one game and then no more TV for seven more days and 2) I live alone so that is my nightly interaction. This means no DVR to record and catch up later. No watching shows online either. Just turn it off completely. It was HARD and there were times I wanted to throw in the towel but I didn't. But just as anything difficult, the end was worth it! This was definitely an area of my life I needed purified and God had His way! My evenings were spent in study and prayer, reading, taking care of my home, spending time with others, and listening to speakers/sermons. Now that it is over, I feel lighter and less weighed down. I hope I don't fall back into old patterns and am going to try to set new TV habits (like no reruns or using TV to fill the void of loneliness instead of seeking out God and people). Now that I see that I'm really not missing anything, it is freeing!

Like any fast, I have walked away from this one with a few lessons. So if you will indulge me, here is a list of what I have learned over the past six weeks:
  1. God has so much more to offer than a sitcom or dramatic hour on TV. Time spent with Him will carry you throughout the day when a quick show will leave your backside sore.
  2. I was given back the gift of time - for reading, people, productivity, etc. TV makes me a sluggard. Seriously, I have spent too much time investing in sitting on my rear. God is much more pleased with me when my TV is off! He wants me to be a better steward of my time!
  3. The internet can be just as dangerous for stealing time and attention as the TV.
  4. I am much more aware of my desire for people than before. Being among friends is so much more fulfilling, energizing, and uplifting than a TV show.
  5. TV robs you of quality time with those you love. Mom and Dad were very respectful of my commitment to end this time with no TV this weekend and I think we had one of the best visits I can remember. Lots of visiting and a challenging puzzle were SO much better than watching the tube!
  6. TV is SO negative! Since turning it off, I have been more focused on things that are lovely, pure, and noble. It makes a world of difference - imagine that!

I don't think that TV is evil but I have learned that, just as all things, it should only be used in moderation. One can become just as gluttonous and addicted to TV as anything else. So here's to breaking free from TV......

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Delilah - The Samson Version

Tim Hawkins is a Christian Comedian who tends to take popular songs and rewrite them using Christian themes. This is "Hey There Delilah" as sung by Samson. HILARIOUS! Enjoy!!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

My God and I

I just want to thank those of you who commented on my last post. You are a blessing to me! If you didn't get to comment, feel free to go on back. Some of you sweet girls commented about how you felt worship happens everyday and not just in an assembly. I agree with you 100%. You just jumped to gun a bit. :) I decided to start with cooperate worship because I feel like there is something powerful about a body of individual believers coming together to concentrate our efforts solely on Christ. I find beauty in the different parts joining together to complete the body. Community is such a necessity! Where would we be without it?

So that brings me to today. Just as the body is important, we all have our own parts and our own ways that we experience God. Sacred Pathways opened my eyes to how different people encounter God. Some I knew about but others - not so much. Just as there are various ways that people's souls soar in cooperate worship, we each find our souls soaring between gatherings. I love it because it almost feels like a secret just between me and God. It is intimate because it is just my God and I. No one else can speak to my heart the way He can. And He is faithful to do so!

For me, there are many things that make my heart skip a beat when it is just me and God. Here are a few of them (limiting this was very hard): when God shows up in an unexpected way, seeing/learning new things in scripture, answered prayer, timely words, being still and quiet beside a natural body of water, having the opportunity to minister to someone, or the perfect praise song at just the right moment. God knows how to speak my love language!

Now it's your turn! Just like last time, please leave a comment sharing how you most closely experience God when it is just the two of you. Is it being outside in God's creation, preparing a meal for someone in need, meditating on scripture, staring at a piece of art depicting something scriptural, being alone and quiet, fighting for a godly cause, seeing God's consistency, being surprised by God, or time in deep study? There are SO many ways that this list is just the point on the tip of the iceberg. I think that this is why cooperate worship is so beautiful. All week we have each served and worshiped in individual ways on our own. Then, we put it all together for a few hours of focused worship. All of the parts coming together. What do you experience during your time on your own that brings you closer to God?

Friday, April 03, 2009

Coorporate Worship

Since finishing Sacred Pathways, I have been thinking about the different ways that people worship and experience closeness with God. For some, it is the worship through song. Others anticipate times of prayer. The sermon, communion, fellowship before and after service, etc. are all parts of our time together worshipping our Father. No part of worship is more or less important than others. All aspects are significant and discussed in scripture. However, some personalities are more drawn to different aspects of worship than others.

For me, I really look forward to communion. If it were up to me, this would be the climax of our time together - breaking bread and remembering the life, sacrifice, teachings, and daily activity of Christ in our lives and in the lives of others. We would sing, pray, and study together in anticipation of the feast to come. I love the ways that different bodies observe this sacrament but I often feel like it is often left as a check list on the things to do to get to the next thing. There have been but a few times that I have really felt that a body hit the nail on the head with communion as a celebration and deeply significant part of worship. For me, it is the most important thing we do as a collective body. I believe that this is why we come together. Now, don't get me wrong...I do love me a good sermon full of original language with ties between the Old Testament and New. I love me a time of song that makes your soul feel like the only thing that is confining it to this earth is the body we are in. I can't imagine worship without any of these. However, when all of that good study/preaching and singing builds up to the purpose of gathering together (communion), that is just how my soul meets God best.

Now it is your turn. When the body joins together for cooperate worship, what aspect of the service do you look forward to the most? If you read this, I would really love for you to comment (even if you just happened to run across this blog for the first time today). It shouldn't take long. I'm going to leave this post up for a few days to give everyone time to weigh in. I'm just so curious about how you soul relates best to God. He is a great and creative God!!