Friday, April 27, 2012

watching them grow

One of my favorite things about teaching is watching my students grow throughout the school year.

Seeing them grow leaps and bounds in reading.

Watching their love of math develop through the weeks.

Hearing their imaginative stories about volcanoes, dinosaurs, and venus fly traps. Yes. Venus fly traps. Everyday. :)

I'm actually hoping to find a venus fly trap to get for my classroom since they are so interested.

I looked into getting seeds, but they take too long to germinate.

These little guys though...

We planted seeds one day last week. On Friday to be exact.

Lots of seeds. LOTS.

Sunflowers, cosmos, zinnias, celosias, marigolds. Even rye grass.

The students have been so excited to come everyday to see that the plants have germinated, sprouted, and now growing leaves. Some of the students have learned the hard way that some seeds germinate sooner than others. Sunflowers are the fastest. Celosias has so far been the slowest.

Today, we decided to transplant the little guys into pots. We took them out of the little mesh bag things they were in, and put them into pots so they can continue growing into pretty plants to give their mommas for Mother's Day.

As I was separating the seedlings into the pots, my students were SO excited.

They could see the roots! And some of them had the little seed covers still on the leaves.

They were also very impressed that they could see the roots coming out of the soil. I assured them that this meant it was time to transplant them!

Roots are so neat!! (Okay okay, I may have been just as excited as my students the whole time!) 

This one was also very exciting to see! 

It was germinating, but it hadn't come up above the soil yet! This was so cool!

Some of them were worried the plants were going to die because we were moving them. However, I explained that if we do it carefully and make sure the roots are buried correctly, they should be fine.

I should have taken a picture of the pots, but I didn't think about it.

Can't wait to see these little guys grow bigger! Love them!

Both the plants and my students.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

the Lord is my portion -- 52 in 52

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him."
Lamentation 3:19-24

Honestly? I haven't started working on this passage memorization yet for this week.
It's been a bit of a crazy week with something going on each evening, and this evening I find myself still sitting in my classroom, which is now silent outside of the occasional person wandering the halls and the praise music I have streaming on Pandora. The stillness is rather relaxing.

Later, I will make my way to an ice cream place down the road to scoop ice cream for Panther Spirit Night. Maybe I'll see a few faces from my classroom.

The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.


As I memorize this verse, I have to really search myself and ask whether or not this is true reality in my heart.

Yes. I love God. I love Him with everything in me.

Does my heart long for things that I do not have yet though? Absolutely.

Talking with a friend a couple months ago, I realized the root of the feelings that I have in my heart and mind. They are not feelings of not being content. I'm content. I love living by myself, going home to a quiet house (aside from the barking of my little ankle biter of a dog), and the peace I find after a crazy (but fun) day at the school. I love it.

It's actually better than I thought it'd be. I was honestly a little concerned about getting lonely and such. That's only happened a couple times since I bought the house about 7 months ago.

Even though I'm content, I'm happy, and I wouldn't change the fact that I bought a house last year, my heart is still longing.

I don't feel fulfilled.

I don't feel whole.

Someone is missing when I wake up in the mornings. Someone is missing when I cook supper at night (which is obvious since I usually have enough for another two meals after I eat my supper). Someone is missing when I have exciting news to share late at night, yet no one to share it with.

No, it's not about being content at all. I absolutely love my life. However, I am not fully whole yet. My heart longs for my husband. It hurts not knowing who he is or where he is. And sometimes I wonder if he is at all. Or if he is not. And that it's just me.

As I typed out the verse for this week's 52 in 52, I had to ask myself whether or not I truly meant what I was typing. I didn't start this journey at the beginning of the year just hoping to store away some random passages. No, I wanted to learn, grow, change, transform, and mold into someone new. My desire is that through these 52 weeks, the 52 passages I select would have an impact on my heart and my life. And in turn, I will be a new creation in Him.

So, can I truly claim the Lord as my portion?

I pray that I can. I pray that my longings do not draw me away from God and from my desire to live solely in Him. I desire to love Him with an undying passion that grows every second of my life here on this earth.

Yes, I am content. I have my God. He is my Father, my Lord, my Savior. He is my Companion.

And until He introduces me to the man He has hand chosen for me to love, marry, live life with, and die holding onto, I will continue to seek God with every ounce of my being, and I will pray for him, his safety, his walk with God, his family, and his life. And even after I meet my man, my prayer is that through my relationship with him, I will never cease to seek God's face.

Yes. I will say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him."


i did it again...

Okay, so I changed the address of my blog again.

Yeah. Shoot me.

I never really was happy with "it's a hoot of a life." Just too much going on there.

But..."my life is a hoot"? Perfect!

So, I'm now -- and that's what it'll stay! It makes me much happier than the previous one.

Now to just make a new banner for the top of my page.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

a heart of flesh -- 52 in 52

I just realized this evening that I haven't shared with you my 52 in 52 verse for this week! It's been a pretty good week, but busy. I've made it a goal to get to bed by 9:00, which has worked for the past 3 work nights. Last night was a bit different (as is tonight), but I'll share about that in another post. :) Here's this week's verse!!

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit in you and move you to follow My decrees and be careful to keep My laws.
Ezekiel 36:26-27

A heart of stone can be present in a number of forms, however there is one basic underlying theme that is present.

Knowing that God is calling you to do something, but doing nothing about it.

Whether that is not taking a blind step of faith into a new career, continuing to sin in spite of your convictions, or not spending time with God through prayer and reading His word (or even spending time in His word and prayer, but not truly seeking Him through them).

The promising joy that God has given us is that He will turn our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. The Spirit that God places in us is none other than His Own, which serves as our Counselor and Guide.

I must say, knowing that God loves me enough to continue chiseling away at my life, even when I've found myself cold as stone, is very humbling.

Stone is heavy and uncomfortable. I'd rather give it all to God so that He can change my heart of stone to a heart of flesh, which is a much lighter (and more enjoyable) load.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

my week, according to Instagram

The week after Spring Break always seem to be a tough one. Getting back into the swing of waking up early isn't always easy!

This week was no different! I spoke with about 4 other teachers that all said the same thing: Spring Break was such a glorious taste of summer that coming back was almost unbearable! Okay, maybe it wasn't that bad, and we didn't exactly say it was that bad, but it was rough! I have enjoyed being back on a "normal" schedule again, and I truly did miss my little kiddos, however I struggled with waking up early and having energy to last me through the school day. Yawns were in abundance, and afternoon naps were a constant threat. But we made it! And we only have 33 days left (I'm pretty sure that's correct).

So here's a peek at my week. ha! I'm a poet and didn't know it. ba-da-ching!

-On Tuesday evening, I helped throw a baby shower for one of my best friends Mary. Okay, so this is totally not a picture of Mary, but it is of my little dog Izzy. While I was at the shower, Izzy set the security alarm at my house off, which eventually called the police because they couldn't get ahold of me. Craziness! Thankfully, everything was fine, I didn't have to pay a false warning fee, and it was all chalked up to me rushing out of the house in an I'm-going-to-be-late frenzy. Oh, and when I got up Wednesday morning, in my very sleepy state, I pushed in the duress (emergency! Call the police now!!) code on my security system. Thankfully, I immediately realized it and called the security company to cancel the code. No police came on Wednesday morning, thankfully!
-This is actually from last Saturday, but we'll pretend! :) I finally planted flowers in my flower boxes outside. They make me so happy when I pull into my driveway! And I haven't even killed them yet!!! Score!
-One of my precious students brought me flowers on Thursday just because. Love!! She even said I could keep the vase (which stands about 6 inches tall) because her momma can get them at the store for $1. haha Can I just say, that as a single woman, I'm glad my students bring me flowers from time to time! Of course, this is not to say that I'm expecting my one-day husband to buy me flowers all the time, but I love how God romances me even through simple signs of love such as a student bringing me flowers. Makes my heart smile. :)
-And lastly, my new kitchen cuties! I got Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper today at a Come See Me (Rock Hill's spring festival) event, and I love them! So cute. I also picked up the small plate/dish beside the happy seasoning couple this week. I'm so happy about having something to put my spoon/spatula/whatever on while I cook! No more food-dirtied counters! Yay!

And one more picture! The number line in my classroom started falling on Monday afternoon, so I decided to hot glue it back up! Well, I don't exactly have a ladder in my room (it's at the top of my wall), so I put the spinny desk chair to the highest it would go, heated up my hot glue gun, and stepped up to glue my number line back into place. Easy peasy, right?

Hot so much. The hot glue dripped, and the dripped glob of hot glue landed right on my foot! Ouch! And turned it yellow!! Strange, huh?

Just kidding. The hot glue didn't turn my skin yellow, but it did burn it pretty bad! And one of my dear teacher friends insisted that if I put yellow mustard on the burn, it would stop burning. She almost talked me into getting some mustard from the cafeteria, but I decided to wait until I got home since I needed to run a couple errands, and I didn't think it would be very attractive for me to walk around with mustard on my foot (however, I'll snap a picture and post it on Instagram/Facebook? Weird, I know).

Well, I tried it when I got home, and it WORKS! I was so stinking amazed that the mustard just pulled the burn out completely! I let the mustard stay on until it was just about dried (yes, gross. lol), and I had to make sure Izzy didn't decide to have a mustard snack that afternoon. Now, the spot is sloooowly healing. Hopefully there won't be a nasty scar there.

Well, there are about 40 minutes left to this week, so I better hit the sack so I can start next week bright eyed and bushy tailed! How was your week? Drop any hot glue on your foot? I wouldn't recommend it.

(Oh yes! I was supposed to run in the Come See Me 5k race this morning, but I slept late. Arg! I've run it the past 2 years, and I was excited about keeping the tradition going! I think God was telling me to slow down and take it easy some. My body listened this morning, I reckon. Oh well. Next year!)


Thursday, April 12, 2012

wake up! and read about this week's 52 in 52 -- and click an ad!

But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."
Ephesians 5:13-14

So I'm thinking I need this as a recording to use as my alarm clock in the mornings! I definitely feel dead to the world as I turn off the 4 alarms that I have set. Yes. 4 alarms. And I still wake up late!

But I'm not sure they mean me feeling dead in the mornings.

No, I think Paul meant spiritual death. Death that comes from sin.

When we wake up from the sin that has us trapped in disobedience and allow Christ to shine on us, we are finally able to see God's calling again. It's so easy to be blinded by sin and lose sight of what it is God has called to. Opening our eyes and becoming aware of Christ and His sacrifice can help us see what was once invisible. Christ, the Light, makes all things visible.

On a side note, take a moment to click the link on the right!! Scroll down a's down there. On the right side of the page. I get couple pennies or nickels each time someone clicks an ad! :) 

Yay! You clicked it. Thanks. :)


Saturday, April 7, 2012

be still

I wonder what Jesus' closest friends, His mom, and His faithful followers felt on the days after His death but before His resurrection. Did they feel a sense of defeat? Maybe confusion? I can only imagine there was much heartache during this time.

What was God whispering in their ears on these days? As Easter approaches this year, one verse has been in my mind a great deal.

Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.
Psalm 46:10

I don't know this to be true, but I imagine God whispering words such as these to the people mourning and confused over Jesus' death in those days.


Friday, April 6, 2012

He died for us -- 52 in 52

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:6-8

I don't know what is more humbling than thinking of my sin and knowing that Christ still died for me. Nothing I did warranted this display of love towards me. It had nothing to do with me, but everything to do with who He was...and still is.

As this Good Friday comes to an end, I'm reminded of God's goodness and His unfailing love towards us. I hope you've come to know this love.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring Break

My spring break started out pretty open and relaxing. It quickly filled up with something to do everyday. Not that I minded though - the things that filled up my time were actually people.

7 little people whom I love an awful lot.
(Top row are my brother's boys: Malachi, Eli, and Levi.
Bottom row are my sister's four: Timothy, Taralyn, Tess, and Toby)
I've often said that I love these little people so much that I'm not sure how I'll love my own children any more one day. I know I will, but my heart just bursts with love for these little ones.

Monday was pretty uneventful. I actually can't remember what I did. lol Must not have been very much, eh? Tuesday, I went strawberry picking with my sister's family. None of us had ever been before. It was so much fun!

This little girl ate strawberries the whole time.
She was cracking me up.
Tess had a blast picking the strawberries!
And this dude was a strawberry picking machine!
He could have picked 5 more baskets. Seriously.

This was taken at the park because our strawberry patch pictures
of Toby weren't that great.
I love goofy baby faces!! And I love this little cuddle bug. :)
And of course, we couldn't leave without a family picture!
On Wednesday, I kept my brother's three boys in the morning. We bummed around their house for about an hour, and then met my sister and her family at the park for some fun.

This little man wasn't in the sunniest of moods when we got there.
He brightened up later on though!
Malachi loved digging through the dirt to find bugs!
(He wasn't too excited about smiling for all of my pictures though, so he chose to hide.)
I did get one unhidden smile out of him!
(My settings were just a tad off though. I'm still learning!)

I'm amazed at how old this young man has become in no time!
It seems like yesterday that I kept him for the summer when he was just 3-4 months old.
Now he's 9!  Really?! Crazy.
(Again, I'm still learning and adjusting to staying on full manual. Sorry for the over exposure!)
Tonight, I kept my sister's kids so she and her husband could go out for a much-needed date night! They had Toby in tow, but since he's not yet at the stage of running around and talking all the time, he didn't cramp their style too much.

Tomorrow, the only thing on my schedule is a lunch date with my mom. Yes!! I've been trying to have one all week, but tomorrow is just the first time it's worked out. I love her so much, and time with her is so precious now that I'm not living at home anymore!

Saturday is our family Easter picnic and egg hunt. It should be loads of fun, and I'm sure I'll have loads of pictures to share from that as well. :) I'm keeping my brother's three boys Saturday evening so he and his wife can go out for a much-needed date! They don't have a one month old to take with them like my sister and her husband did though. It should be a fun evening with the boys, and hopefully they'll be exhausted form the egg hunt! :)

Aaaand on Sunday, I'm taking an in-person photography workshop with one of my "blog heroes." MckMama (aka Jennifer -- click this to go to her blog, btw!) is a very real and honest blogger who just so happens to be an amazing photographer as well. I've taken two online photography workshops with her, and I have seriously learned so much meat on staying manual from her that it's crazy. I'm SUPER excited to have the chance to meet her and hang out with our cameras for about 3 hours on Sunday! She is on a road trip with her 5 kids (pray for her!!) to different cities in the East, and Charlotte just so happens to be one of those cities! I'm so giddy with excitement. I just can't wait!

That, my friends, is my Spring Break so far. It may not have been as free and open-scheduled as I had originally planned, but it has most definitely been filled to the brim with lots of great little people, and it isn't even over yet! It will be soon enough though. And on Monday I'll get to go back to my 20 children whom I have honestly missed a lot since last Thursday. I think I'll enjoy my 7AM alarms until then though. I definitely haven't missed the 5:30AM alarms!


Sunday, April 1, 2012

a porta potty adventure + a late race + a terrible time = a great weekend!

We had a great trip to Charleston! I loved spending time catching up with Cindy, my cousin that lives in too-far-away-Charlotte. Okay, she's only about half an hour away, but that's just too far! It was also fun to meet her new roommate, Britney. The three of us drove down on Friday morning and spent some time bumming around the expo, and then downtown Charleston.

We were stuck in traffic for awhile on the way into Charleston (something about 40,000 people running the race causes traffic. Odd, eh?), and I REALLY had to potty. Bad! So, as we were stopped beside some porta potties lining the road (for the following morning's race, of course), I hopped out to potty really quick hoping to get back out to the car before the cop at the light decided to let our lane drive.

Well, half way through my, uh, potty break, I heard cars moving. Sad times. I came out to new cars in front of the porta potty parade, and my cousin's car nowhere in site. I wonder what the people in the cars thought about the girl that randomly came out of a porta potty with a confused look on her face. Anyhoo, I ran down the sidewalk trying to find her car, and thought that maybe they just went on to the expo, which was only about a block or so away. So I give them a call, and finally found them (yay!). They had pulled up on a sidewalk the next block down and was waiting for me. Apparently Cindy tried waiting for me at the porta potties, but multiple cops came running towards her car in an attempt to get her to move, so she had to drive on. Of course, this all happened in a span of maybe 3 minutes. Fun times!

Oh, and I can officially say that I've used a sparkling-clean porta potty! The seat even had plastic wrapped around it, saying it was newly sanitized. God bless the porta potty sanitizer people. I couldn't do it, I'm afraid. But I'm glad someone did!

I had another interesting porta potty experience the next morning before the race. This one included me wearing a tutu in the teeny tiny porta potty. But we won't go into that experience. *shudder*

Anyways, the run was fun, however not my best at all. Lack of sleep (I randomly woke up at 1:15AM and didn't get back to sleep), starting the race an hour late (yes, they started an hour late - more on that in the next paragraph), standing around for almost 3 hours before the race ever started, not eating for 4 hours before the race, a crazy sharp cramp, and some lady issues didn't make it my best time at all. At. all.

Remember how I said they started the race an hour late? Yeah. Apparently there were some issues with the shuttle buses taking people from the Charleston side of the bridge (finish) to the Mt. Pleasant side (start) and people were still on buses at like 7:30 (30 minutes before the race). Then, the buses had to clear the bridge before we could start. So, instead of starting the race at 8:00, they started at 9:00. Which means since we got there round 7:30, we had to stand around for an hour and a half before we started. We also stood in line for the buses for about an hour before we loaded our bus to be taken to the start. I think I was mentally done before we ever started. lol

So, my time. My goal was under an hour. Last year, I did it in 1 hour and 3 minutes. This year, not so much. I finished 1 hour and 10 minutes (+ some seconds). I am honestly proud that I was able to run and finish the race in the time that I did. However, I am so competitive with myself that my time totally bummed me out. But that's okay! I'll do better next year. :)

Okay - done complaining!! I really did have fun, and although it wasn't my best run, I most definitely will do this race again next year. The experience is always completely worth it.

Cindy did an EXCELLENT job during this race! This was her 2nd 10k, but I don't really count her first one since she had a broken tail bone. She ran it in an hour and 18 minutes! Yay!! So proud of her. :)

-Cindy and I finally made it on the bus, after waiting forEVER! All smiles here though. :)
-Everyone was wondering what was taking so long to start. The people behind us were making jokes like, "I never practiced standing around for an hour before running 6 miles before! I'm not prepared for this!" I decided it was a good sit down and rest your legs time.
-One of my favorite pictures from the weekend! Cindy and I are waiting for the race to start. And the guy standing behind us totally photobombed our picture. Nerd! Funny nerd though.
-LOVE the bridge!! This picture makes the race totally worth it. Such a pretty run!

Lesson learned? God can humble us even through regular life experiences. I was so pumped up about running the race in under an hour, yet I was completely knocked on my rump with everything that lead up to the race. I don't exactly deal well with failure, but I'm learning to slap on a smile and clamp my mouth shut! Not sure I did a great job at that this weekend though. lol

How was your weekend? :D