Friday, May 25, 2012

above all else -- 52 in 52

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gave directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
Proverbs 4:23-27

God has been showing me a lot lately that my life is a live example of His love to the people around me. For some of the people I come in contact with, I may be the only example of Christ they experience. Yes, I've known this - it's something we're taught in Sunday school growing up. However, it's becoming so much more real to me every single day.

The things I say, the things I do, and the places I go are all a testimony of my life. Sometimes these things point others to Christ, sometimes they don't. My prayer is that my life points to Christ and bring Him glory more than it doesn't.

My heart has conflicting emotions many times, however it is solely invested in serving Christ. Guarding my heart is tough (I am a girl, after all), but so important. 

Definitely something worth striving for.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

under His wings -- 52 in 52

He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Psalm 91:4

We had a really big thunderstorm the other night, which woke me up around 1:30AM and kept me up for a couple hours. Poor Izzy was plastered to my side and shaking because she was scared.

But do you want to know what kept coming to mind as I tried to comfort Izzy?

The baby birds!!

I found these little guys a couple weeks ago in one of the hanging baskets on my porch.

And it's been super fun to watch them grow!!

Of course, they started out looking a bit like aliens.

With mouths open wide begging for food.

So during that big storm, all I could think about was the baby birds. Three tiny little birds that are hanging in a basket on my front porch.

I actually thought about going out to put them on my porch so they would be a little more covered from the rain.

But that would have required me to get out of my bed in the middle of the night. Which I was not excited about at all.

So I checked on them first thing in the morning...

And they were fine!!!

I like to think that their momma came and covered them with her wings to protect them from the storm.

Do you ever feel like you're in a nest of twigs, dangling in a basket in the midst of a violent storm?

Do you ever wonder how you'll ever live to see the sun shine again? 

When that happens, God covers you with His wings. Just like these baby birds were covered during the storm.

He is our shield and rampart.

**I started this post on Wednesday of last week, but I fell asleep before finishing it up. So this was the 52 in 52 for last week, not this week. :) And sorry the pictures are so miss matched - I kept forgetting with Instagram filter I used for the pictures.


Monday, May 14, 2012

face plant

I went to the Strawberry Festival with my friend Ashley, and I took my oldest niece Tess with me.

It was fun!!! 

Tess and I decided we'd get tickets to slide down this massive inflatable slide.

She very gracefully bounded down the giant slide. So cute!


Not so much!!!

Face plant. Graceful, eh?

Still smiling though!!!

Crawling my way out.

Had to get a picture with my favorite 6 (almost 7) year old niece!

It was totally worth the (painless) face plant.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

if moms were flowers...

I'd pick mine a million times over! :)

Last week, my students took home the plants we've been growing for their mom's. They were all VERY excited!

(Are kids not the cutest when they're missing teeth?! I absolutely love this part of first graders!! So adorable!)

We packaged the plants very carefully into paper bags my students decorated with their mom's favorite colors and many, "I <3 you"s written all over. They were instructed to not let their bag tip over. You know, so the soil won't fall out of the pots.

I didn't grow plants for my mom for Mother's Day. But I did make my momma these...

There's one for each of the grandkids, as well as one with all of them on there.

My brother's three boys. Love them!!

And my sister's four kids. Love them too!

So, what are these things?!

Coasters! When my mom opened them, she immediately said, "But I can't put anything on their little faces!!!!"

I assured her that they're safe and protected from any liquid messing them up.

I'm pretty proud of them. :)

I also gave her, my sister, and my sister-in-law necklaces...

My sister-in-law's is on the left. Three little blue "eggs" in a nest for her three boys. My mom's is in the middle with seven "eggs" for the seven grandkids, and then my sister's on the right with four "eggs" for her kids.

They were really fun to make.

Today, I celebrate my mom! The woman that I love to laugh with, feel free to cry with, and am blessed to call my momma.

I love you, Mom!!!


Monday, May 7, 2012

seasoned with salt -- 52 in 52

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Colossians 4:5-6

So my sister-in-law loves salt (hehe - if you're reading this, I hope you don't mind!). She told me once that she puts salt in the shaker with the most holes - that way, more will come out at once. ha!
I like salt as well, but I'm okay without it usually. However, some foods seriously require salt. And maybe more than just a grain.

Brustle sprouts. I love them! But, they need salt. Bad! Without, I'm not a big fan.

Potatoes. I'm a not a big potato type of girl. I don't mind a baked potato every once in awhile. I absolutely love sweet potatoes. But, if I'm going to have regular potatoes (in the form of fries, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes...), I want some salt!

Salt just seems to make things taste better. It can take a bland tasting food and add some spice to it (no pun intended...).

Sometimes the things we say are better received with a grain of salt. No, I'm not saying to butter your conversation up so as not to hurt someone. Not at all. However, be mindful of what you are saying and the impact it could have on another person.

Words hurt. It's as plain and simple as that. And sadly enough, sometimes the thing we remember most about a person is the negative words they've spoken to us.

Often times, we are judged by our words. People may watch us and look to see how we respond to certain situations. If we aren't careful, we may cause these people to stumble based on the way we've reacted. It hurts my heart to think I could cause someone strife with God because of my words.

Am I saying this because I think I'm perfect? No way, no how! I know I have to work at keeping my words full of grace, seasoned with salt, and glorifying God in all circumstances. That would be why I chose this verse for this week. :) But the first step is always realization, right?


So, I'm sitting here in my hallway typing this post. Something about me heading to bed, deciding to write a post really quick, and then my dear dog wanting a late night snack/supper. She won't always eat if I'm not within sight, so I plopped in the hallway to finish up the post. I know. She's spoiled.

Anyway -- sitting here, I decided to open up the air conditioner filter thing (my own technical term). Dad mentioned getting a new thing to put in his, and it made me wonder if I needed new one for mine since it's been about 8 months since I bought the house. Hmm...

I think I am officially grossed out. Are they supposed to look that nasty? Or am I in serious need of a transplant? I snapped the picture to show the guy at the store when I go to get a new one. Classy, eh? 

I thought you'd enjoy the picture. Don't worry - it'll be changed soon (hopefully).


Friday, May 4, 2012

quiet life -- 52 in 52

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
1 Thessalonians 4:11-2

I've been praying through these two verses as well as some others this week.

high fives and smiles

I teach at the best school ever. Seriously.

Our principal is amazing. He has a heart for the Lord, and a heart for the children that set foot into his building each day.

Our school is packed full of amazing teachers. They support each other and celebrate with each other.

The PTO and parent support is crazy. They rock it out with raising money for the school, and it's amazing how many parent volunteers we have coming in every day.

And the students. They make us laugh everyday, they have fun learning, and they make work enjoyable.

I love my school!

Today was no exception.

Next week, students in 3-5 grade will take our state test, the PASS. It's tough. It's long. And honestly, boring. 3 days (4 for 4th graders) of tests. yay.

Our principal loves to encourage the students in any way he can, so the first year the school was open (2 years ago), he started a huge PASS pep rally. SO much fun!

The younger students (k-2) line the hallways, and while the 3-5 grade students walk to the gym, the younger ones cheer them on. Very loud. Very exciting.

It makes me tear up every year. Yes, I'm a sap.

The kids love it. The little kids, the big kids. It's such a sense of excitement and togetherness as a whole school.

Today was this year's PASS pep rally.

The teachers had just as much fun as the kids! Lisa was having fun pumping the younger kids up while the older kids made their way to the gym.

And when the older kids started coming, it was even more exciting! Of course, the younger kids don't fully understand what's happening - they just enjoy the fact that I told them they could be as loud as they could. ha It was a nice release for some of the little ones in my class!

Too many high fives to count.

Too many smiles to count.

But one lasting memory. A memory of unity, encouragement, and genuine fun.

(Our principal wasn't able to be here today because his wife had a baby this week. I'm sure he greatly missed being here today, but I'm also sure he knew we had some great people to help carry on without him!)


Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I went running yesterday. 2 miles. It stunk.

I walked up one of the hills instead of running it. I'm a wimp like that.

I was finally able to get a picture of a family's sidewalk while I was being a wimp though. I've run by it many times now, and I've never stopped to snap a picture. Love!

We only have 21 days of school left. I'm excited. But I'm sad. Definitely conflicting emotions here.

I need to cut my grass. I was going to tonight, but now I'm not feeling it. Ever have days like that?

I won this print through a giveaway on a blog awhile ago, and I've never put it in a frame. Until now!

I got the frame from a friend's yard sale, but it didn't have any glass in it. So I got a frame for $5 at a discount type store in town, and I used the glass from it for this frame (wasn't fond of the frame itself). Score!

It now hangs by my bedroom door. Perfect place for it.

I was accepted into graduate school last week. Excited? Totally! A bit nervous? Yes! Ready for the work? ha!

Excitement wins out though.

Izzy is still her cute self. She takes over the bed when I have it in disarray with the sheets in the wash.

That's the only time she's allowed on my comforter. Otherwise, it's covered with another blanket so she won't get it dirty.

I love her. Dirt and all!

PS - It's now 8:37 and I just finished cutting my grass. Yes. It was worth it. :)