Thursday, October 28, 2010

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Parent/Teacher conferences are often dreaded.  Not because of  sitting down and meeting with parents.  I quite enjoy that!  I think it's more about the daunting 12 hour days you have to work.  12 hours of talking.  12 hours of being "on".  While I always enjoy the time I get to spend with my students and their families, I always worry that I'm not prepared or that I don't know everything I need to about a particular student.  And I'm always extremely nervous!

Because I always want to remember the special way God blessed me this year, I going to share the absolute sweetest email I got from a dear friend.  I opened this email on Thursday.

"I've been thinking of you and praying that you will have strength and that all will go smoothly as you sit down with your kids' parents. I am hoping that you know just how amazing you are as a teacher and that you have heard LOTS of words of affirmation from those parents. Praying you through today and into your weekend tomorrow!"

To say that I was touched was an understatement.  These words made me feel so loved and encouraged.  And let me tell you, God answered their prayers in such an amazing way.  For the first time in eleven years of teaching, four parents cried that evening as sat down to meet.  They poured their hearts out with some of the nicest, most flattering, affirming things I've heard as a teacher.  As I heard each different parent share what was on their heart I knew that God was encouraging me, answering the prayer of my dear friend. 

I know I've blogged about this year and the struggles it's brought in a couple of different posts.  As I was listening to these parents, I heard God reminding me that I have the students I'm supposed to have.  They are not in my room by accident, but because they were meant to be.  It's exactly what I needed to be reminded of.  It doesn't matter that behavior and academic ability weren't divided fairly among the grade level.  There's a bigger picture, and I'm praying that I never miss an opportunity!fall2010sig

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Prayer Request for a Friend

Please join me in praying for a friend.  She has waited for a family of her own for many years.  Not too long ago she married an amazing man who is so obviously crazy about her!  Together, they've been trying to start a family.  They have so selflessly and generously opened their home to love on kids who need it most; to give them Jesus.  One by one, these special little ones have left their home, no doubt their lives changed by being introduced to the One who created them and loves them most.  Most recently, they've been sharing their home and their lives with a little one they took home from the hospital.  He knows them only as Mommy and Daddy.  They've been praying from the moment they got him.  Praying that he'll be able to be a permanent member of their family, the same way he'll always have a permanent place in their hearts.

Last week they received devastating news.  News that would make an unbeliever feel hopeless.  Please pray with me that God would move the mountain in the way of them becoming a family.  God is able and I'm believing He's going to work in their lives.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us."  (Eph. 3:20)


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Back in Black

Fall is here!! Can you tell???
(In case you're wondering, yes.  These are both pictures of Stormy!)

Monday, October 25, 2010


"Greatness of Our God"
Give me grace to see beyond this moment hear.  To believe that there is nothing left to fear.  That you alone are high above it all.  And you my God are greater still.  And no sky contains.  No doubt restrains all you are.  The greatness of our God.  I'll spend my life to know and I'm far from close to all you are.  The greatness of our God.

Today I'm not going to be governed by my feelings.  After all a wise person can't be true to their feelings.  They have to be true to their convictions.  So, today I'm not going to grieve what I lost or worry about what I don't have.  Today, I'm going to believe God!  Today, I'm going to do the revealed will of God, knowing He'll show me the unrevealed will of God when the time is right.  Today, I'm going to cling to the truth that God knows the desires of the heart and He has big plans for me!

If people can't see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves;  But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.  (Prov. 29:18 ~ MSG)


A Long Awaited 3-Day Weekend!

And it did not disappoint!!!

I kicked off this much needed and long anticipated weekend by sleeping in until 9:00 on Friday morning!!  I woke up feeling so rested and ready to squeeze in as much family fun and relaxing as humanly possible.

Friday, Mom and I went shopping.  Nothing serious.  Just errands we needed to accomplish before our trip next week.  When we got home I cleaned the bathrooms and back bedrooms.  (Amazing what you feel like doing when you haven't worked all day!)  That evening I went to Garrett's basketball game.  Then he came over later that night for a sleepover.  We watched the Karate Kid.  He's such an amazing kid!  Always looking out for others.  Always making sure others are getting to do what they want before ever expressing what he wants to do.  Always so loving!  He's growing up way too fast!!!!
Saturday (after taking Garrett home) I went horseback riding.  It was a little warm to be the perfect fall day, but the trees were beautiful and we practically had the place to our self!
After riding, Mom gave two of the horses a bath, Dad got some hay, and I helped get the trailer ready for the trip.  I went home and cleaned up and spent the evening cleaning the rest of the house and watching the Missouri football game.  It was a good one!!

Today, I listened to a moving message at church, as usual.  Then, I had Mom and Dad over for lunch.  We had soup, salad, and sandwiches.  It was pretty good, if I do say so myself.  Check the bottom of this post for the recipe for my baked potato soup.  :) (Just for you, Jen!)  I spent the rest of the day catching up on blog reading, caught a little snooze, and watched Chase play a couple of basketball games.

It was a wonderful weekend!!
Baked Potato Soup
(I usually double this.)
3 large potatoes     
salt & pepper to taste
1/3 c. butter  
2 T green onions, chopped (I leave this out.)
2 T onions, chopped (I use dried onion flakes.) 
2 T bacon (I use Oscar Meyer bacon bits.)
1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
3 1/2 c. milk      
8 oz. sour cream

Bake potatoes at 400 F for 1 hour or until done.  (I peel the potatoes first, and bake them the night before to save time.)  Peel and scoop out the pulp; coarsely chop and set aside.  Melt butter in sauce pan and saute onions until tender.  Stir in flour until smooth and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Gradually add milk, stir over medium heat until think and bubbly.  Add potatoes, salt and pepper, green onions, bacon and cheese.  Cook thoroughly.  Add additional milk if needed.  Stir in sour cream.  Garnish with extra bacon, cheese and green onions.


Monday, October 18, 2010


... for a better day
... for boundaries and actually enforcing them
... for a school district who believes in me enough to send other teachers to watch me teach
... for students who love me
... for friends who know when something is wrong, even when I insist there's not
... for friends who call, text, or email at just the right time
... for the opportunity to meet my students' families this week and get to know them better
... for nephews who live close enough that I can walk over and listen them to laugh and play
... for a dog that is low maintenance (most of the time)
... for parents who unexpectedly mow my yard, set mole traps, listen to, pray for, and encourage me
... for a church that disciples and equips
... for a job that's more than a job
... for a home of my own
... for a large family that love each other enough to be in each other's business
... for a God who is good and does good
... for the plans He has for me
... for His unfailing love and provision
... for His grace

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Well, I've finally lost it

That's right.  Just call me Humpty-Dumpty because today I cracked like an egg. (Warning: The rest of this will not be pretty.  It's going to show just how human and flawed I really am.  It's just plain ugly!)

I knew it was coming.  I could feel it building for the past two weeks.  Plus, it's always a sign that I'm dealing (or maybe I should say running) from something when I stop blogging.  It's like I'm unable to stop and process all that's going through my mind.

Before I work this all out for myself, I have to start by saying I know there are many, many, MANY more of you out there busier, more tired, and more stressed out than I am or ever will be.  I really have nothing to complain about.

I started this school year determined to make it one of the best ever.  Really, I did.  Boy, has Satan has been there at every turn to challenge this.  This is the absolute hardest class I've ever tried to manage.  They are all sweethearts, but I'm still working on getting them to follow directions and work independently.  I never sit at my desk and let them work, they won't let me.  They are constantly needing/wanting my attention like no other class I've had before.  Essentially, this is a good thing.  They just want to share with me, and it's really hard for me to send them away.  I feel terrible for doing it, but if I don't, we'll never get anything accomplished!  It's my fault, really.  I've not done a good job of setting the boundary.  I know that many of them don't get a lot of attention at home, so I spend most of my free time talking with them.  It can be draining, though.  There isn't a moment where one of them isn't interrupting what I'm saying or thinking.  Seriously, there is usually a swarm of 7 kids following me wherever I go. It takes a lot of patience.  (I know every mom in the world can relate to this!)  

I also started this school year determined to keep living and being more spontaneous.  Well, I've accomplished it, but I threw all sense of balance out the window in the mean time.  So, now I feel like I'm never at home and behind on things that need to be done there!

As much as I hate it, I'm one of those people that just has to have a little bit of time to myself at home.  I hate it!  It makes me feel so selfish, but really it's the only way I can unwind, clear my mind, and recharge.  When I was determined to be more spontaneous, I totally forgot about this very significant detail of me, and that's added more stress.

I've felt like I've been walking around with my nerves just exposed and my mind running 100 miles a minute, to the point that even when I am home and not grading papers, emailing parents, catching up on laundry or cleaning, I just can't unwind.  Someone, please just stop the world.  I just need a moment to catch my breath.

I was so looking forward to riding today.  It is such a stress reliever.  I was just going to go, soak up the sun and this beautiful, fall weather and just chill out.  While it was that way for most of the ride, it quickly went south towards the end.  You see, I spend the ride worrying about how sore Stormy was acting (he's just gotten new shoes), worrying about keeping up, worrying about the teeny, tiny bit of correction Stormy needed until I just snapped.  Seriously, it was like a rubber band that had been stretched and stretched and stretched and then it just broke.  I snapped.  I stopped Stormy and got off right then and there and informed everyone I was done.  I couldn't do it anymore.  I just wanted to walk and let my mind go blank.  I was not getting back on.  I couldn't.  I wouldn't.  After a few choice words from those I was riding with, I got back on and all of it just came spilling out of me.  I cried all the way back to the trailer.  I had just dumped on my family and felt terrible about it.  I felt terrible about how all about me I had become.  I felt terrible for feeling so stressed and tired for no real reasons.  I felt terrible because after blowing up and crying my eyes out, I was less tense and stressed than I've been in two weeks.

Lessons I've learned from these past two weeks?  #1-when I'm feeling this strung out, I probably shouldn't torture others with my presence.  #2 - as sad as it makes me, I have to take some time for myself.  #3-when I feel like crying I just need to let it out and not hold it in because it will come out and probably at a time it shouldn't.  Most importantly #4-I have to get back to starting my day with the Lord.  Time in His presence puts everything in the right perspective.

If you're one of those people I've dumped on or snapped at lately, please forgive me.  I'm not sure why, but I was on overload.  I promise I'm working on it. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

3 weeks...seriously?

How can it have been 3 weeks since I've blogged?  Seriously, how?

I have a lot I want to write about...renewing my mind, being reassured of my place, birthday blessings, a recent visitor, family stuff, etc...

I've been so busy showing myself that life can still go on throughout the school year that I haven't been home much lately, and when I am home I'm usually out of words!

But, the break is over!  My goal for this weekend is to catch up!