Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

Happy Wednesday, Y'all

Today I'm sharing a (mostly) wordless Wednesday post, in efforts to share some of the pictures I've taken lately, but just haven't shared on here yet.

So here we go...

Last week was International Appreciation Week at my school. We spent the whole week celebrating all the places around the globe we call "home."

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A couple weeks ago, I got this sweet note from a student.

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This shot was taken one day last week.

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Each day last week, we dressed up to represent a different region of the world. On one of the days, we were supposed to wear the clothes of "home."

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I included The Rainbow Fish in my Kids Club lesson this past week. I also may or may not have broken my "no glitter whatsoever" rule in craft time :)

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One of our teachers is an AMAZING baker who baked over 2000 international recipe cookies for our students and staff to enjoy last week. Can you imagine? 

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Ah, Children... They're so innocently nosy and inquisitive. Ha! :)

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I ordered a pizza last night and ate it in my classroom so I could use the wifi (since mine's out at home) so I could finish up my last big assignment for my class.

 

I've been slowly adding to my sub plans for the beginning of next week. I'll be missing two days to go to a Teacher's Conference. 

 

And now I'm off to work a super full day and hopefully get home before dark tonight :)

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Currently

Happy Thursday Y'all

Today I'm joining Anne from In Residence for her monthly Currently link-up, where we share what's currently going on in our lives. 

Each month, Anne gives us a list of prompts to use to guide our posts. The prompts for October are:

* wearing * collecting * making * taking * planning*

So what am I currently up to?


I'm currently wearing my hair in a ponytail almost every single day. We are officially in the hottest and most humid month of the year here in Dakar. I was born and raised in Alabama, one of the hottest/most humid states in the US. But y'all... AL has nothing on hot/humid Senegal. Now excuse me while I go find some more ice to put in my cup of water. :)

I'm currently collecting journal articles on Teaching Non-Native English Speakers with Special Needs for a research paper that's due soon. I may be spending a lot on printing. But it's totally worth it. There's just something about holding the paper copy in my hand, actually use a real highlighter, highlighting it and making notes. There's something about doing that which helps solidify the information I'm studying in my mind.

I'm currently making plans for Elementary Camp, which is an event I lead for our elementary students at the end of April. I know it's super early to be thinking about such things. But I'm currently "window shopping" on Amazon, prepping to order things to bring back with me when I go to the States over Christmas Break.

I'm currently taking my time with #thelovedbibleproject. I'm really enjoying slowly working my way through the Bible. Instead of trying to hurry and read, just so I can read through the entire Bible, I'm taking my time and really savoring what I'm reading, letting it sink in as I read and reflect and pray. And y'all... I'm loving it.

I'm currently planning a class reward which involves ice cream and Pringles for my kiddo's. Why Pringles? ...because one child does not like ice cream. I know. I know. It blew my mind too ;)

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Growing in Gratitude

Happy Thursday!

Today I'm joining Julie and Trista for their monthly Growing in Gratitude link-up, helping us to focus more on having a more grateful attitude.

Want to know what I'm grateful for?

I'm grateful for RendCollective's song, Counting Every Blessing.


I've liked this song since the first time I heard it. But the other day, as I was listening to it basically on repeat, one part jumped out at me.

You were there in the valley of shadows
You were there in the depth of my sorrows
You're my strength, my hope for tomorrow
I've been blessed beyond all measure
I am counting every blessing, counting every blessing
Letting go and trusting when I cannot see
I am counting every blessing, counting every blessing
Surely every season you are good to me

I'm grateful for my Savior and I'm grateful He's been with me always

in the valley of shadows

and in the depth of my sorrows.

I'm grateful He's my strength

and my hope for tomorrow.

I'm grateful for every blessing He's given me.

Dear Lord,

Please help me do like the lyrics of this song says...

Help me to count every blessing.

Help me to let go and trust in YOU.  

Help me to see that in every season,

whether good or bad... 

You are with me ALWAYS.

Help me to always count my blessings.

And my #1 blessing?

It's YOU.

Thank you Lord for all you do for me.

Thank you for every blessing!

- Me 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

What's Up September

Happy Wednesday Y'all

Today I'm joining  MelShay, and Sheaffer for their What's Up Wednesday link-up. 

 

Every month we answer the same few questions based on how things are currently going in our lives. 

The questions are...

 

What am I eating?

I made steak fajita nachos and huge batch of Spanish rice the other day. It was my week to provide the meal for our Bible Study. And I decided to make a double batch, so I'd have leftovers. So I've been eating off of that. Mine is not authentic (obviously). But it was so good. And I must say. It was quite tasty :)

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What am I reminiscing about?

Starting this dream class of mine - And all the memories this classroom of mine has produced over the past year and a half. God has been so good.

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What am I loving?

I'm loving our new theme for Kids Club. It's all about COLORS. The kids seem to be loving it each week. And if they're happy, I'm happy. We cancelled this week, due to our meeting space being in use. That worked out though... It gives us extra time to plan lots of fun things for next week's Kids Club :)

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What have I been up to?
We had our annual Staff Retreat this past weekend. I always love this weekend each year. It's fun to get together with my co-workers from school, enjoy fellowship together, good food, air conditioned rooms, and nice times of worship :)

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What am I dreading praying for? 

I typically shy away from including something I'm dreading. Honestly, there's usually nothing that I'm dreading anyway. So instead, I've decided to change "dreading" to "praying," and instead, list what I'm praying for...

So what am I praying for at the moment?

I'm praying for peace and clarity and guidance.

What am I working on?


I'm working on studying God's Word more intently, as part of The Loved Bible Project. I'm really enjoying this way of studying the Bible, praying, and hearing all the Lord has for me to learn from this time. I'm also praying over every line I highlight, every note I include, praying for the person who will receive this Bible when I'm finished and God lays them on my heart.


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What am I excited about? 

Guess who was gifted plane tickets for a trip to the US over Christmas Break! Yep, that's right! I'll be back in the US from December 19 to January 5. I can't wait to see these two girlies (and the rest of my family, too, of course)!

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What am I watching? 

I just downloaded the iTunes season pass for the final season of Big Bang Theory. It's such a funny show. Definitely one of my favorites :)


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What am I reading?
 
My latest copy of Influence Magazine came in the mail yesterday. So last night, while waiting for my assignment (as a student) to upload, I started reading this article on the more and more common state of biblical illiteracy of our country. It was an interesting read. I think, too often, people depend solely on the preacher to give them the Bible. I think most people aren't studying the Bible and the power/truth it contains, as deeply as they should. And I'm speaking to myself here, as well. How often have I just read to read, and not truly studied the power of what I was reading? So yeah... This article was a good one.
 
 
What am I listening to?

I have a random eclectic mix of music playing at the moment.

What am I wearing? 

Nothing exciting :)

What am I doing this weekend?
 I'll probably head out at some point Friday and Saturday night and watch some of our students and staff play Handball. I also have dinner plans Friday. And I have a cute 5 year old's birthday party on Saturday. And then I'll spend the rest of the day Saturday, prepping for the week ahead (for my classroom and for the class I'm taking, as well). And then on Sunday, I'll go to church and then spend the rest of the day, meal prepping, followed by sitting on my couch, relaxing.

What am I looking forward to next month?
More fun things planned with my class,
Parent Teacher Conferences (always nice to check in...)
Harvest Fest at school
Finishing my class (it's only 8 weeks long)
Starting my next class (I'll have a week off in between)

What else is new?

Not much...

And that's what I'm up to this month.

What about you?

What are YOU up to this month?

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Tuesday Talk

Happy Tuesday Y'all 

Today, I'm joining Ashley and Erika for their monthly Tuesday Talk link-up, where we, bloggers, can talk about anything on our mind at the moment.


I've done a few of these posts over the years. 

February 2017 - Talking about Things I Wish I Could Say
May 2017 - Talking about Why I Teach 
July 2017 - Talking about Mega Conference
February 2018 - Talking about Stories Behind Some Photos
Mary 2018 - Talking about A Friend of Mine 
April 2018 - Talking about The #psloveme Challenge
May 2018 - Talking about My Upcoming Summer 
June 2018 - Talking about Randomness

And today, I'm going to be opening up and sharing my heart a bit. I'm going to be talking about something I've been feeling lately.

I remember having a conversation with a friend a few days before school started back... We were talking about how many years we've been teaching. When I told her I was starting my 10th year, it caught me off guard. 

10 years?!

It just didn't seem possible. 

And I remembered being that shy 23 year old, fresh out of college, transitioning from student teaching in the Fall to being a long-term sub in the Spring. I was so nervous. I was definitely not very confident in myself, as a teacher. In fact, I wrote a "letter" to First Year Teacher Me a few weeks ago, in which I talked about this.

Then, not long ago, I shared a bit of my Philosophy of Teaching and my thoughts about it, as well. In that post, I shared how I've changed as a teacher over the years. I shared how I felt far more confident in myself, as a teacher.

But recently, the devil has been filling my mind with lies, leaving me questioning my abilities as a teacher. For a while, I was walking around in a semi-fog, feeling utterly defeated and crushed in my spirit. I continued to teach my students (and I have taught them quite well, I might add). But the minute they would leave for the day, that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach would return, worse than before. 

And then while at a really low point one day, I told a co-worker...

I feel like a total failure as a teacher.

And I was honest. 

I truly felt like a failure.

 Was I? No.

But it's how I felt. 

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Then fast forward a few days, when I see the image above on Facebook. And do you want to know what I did after reading it?

I cried.

As in, full on, crocodile tears...

I cried a lot.

And then, I asked myself a couple questions.

Why am I believing lies?

 I'm giving control of my mind to the devil, the father of lies, which is CRAZY!

Who am I?

I am a child of God. 
I am a confident teacher.

Am I really a failure as a teacher? 

No. 
I am most definitely NOT a failure as a teacher.

My heart/spirit were left feeling defeated/crushed. And while, I don't feel those feelings anymore, it took a lot out of me. 

But my confidence is back.

And I've kicked all those lies I was believing to the curb.

So I'm feeling like myself again :)

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So why am I rambling on and on about this?

There are a few reasons.

1. I feel like there's this perception in the Christian world that Christians always have it all together. They don't experience sadness (as in, the deep emotional/mental hurt like I've been experiencing). They live in perfect bliss all the time. And if they do end up struggling, then there's a label slapped on them that calls them Damaged, or Sinner, or Whatever...

2. I need the support and accountability. I need friends asking how I'm doing and if I'm in the Word and praying about the areas in which I'm struggling. I need listening ears and I need guidance and advice. And FYI - I am blessed to have that here. But it's something I included on my original, personal (non-blogged) list.

3. I want other Christian Teachers (well, anyone in general) who are struggling to know they are not alone. Life can be hard. It can be especially hard if you feel like you're all alone out there. So if you're reading this and feeling this way, know that I am willing to be a listening ear/email recipient

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Saturday's Letters

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Happy Saturday, Y'all!

Today, I am joining Kristin (who just had an adorably beautiful baby girl, by the way) for her monthly Little Letters link-up, where we write "letters" to anything we want, as a way of sharing an update on our lives at the moment. Although, she may be ignoring blogging for a while longer as she loves on her new precious one.

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There are so many things I could write about.

But I'm tired.

So I'm sticking with just one...

Dear Kids Club,  

You started back this week.

 Thanks for being such a fun way to end my work day on Wednesday. 

We read this book.

Chameleon's Colors by Chisato Tashiro
  
We talked about this Bible verse...
  
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 We played a fun game (which I didn't get a picture of since I was leading the lesson/craft part of the afternoon). But I heard so many happy little voices, recounting how much fun they had during game time.

We decorated chameleons to represent ourselves.


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All in all, we had a great afternoon.

Wednesday will be my longest day each week.

I put in a full day of teaching. Then I lead Kids Club. Then I go back to my classroom to do any prep work necessary for the following day. And it can be long and tiring. And honestly... At the end of last school year, I was even thinking I might have to give up Kids Club.

 But you know...

I'm so glad I didn't.

I'm so glad God allowed me to continue.

It's times like this one.

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There I was, sitting on the floor, surrounded by kids from so many different countries and backgrounds and families and religions and beliefs...

And you know...

Our number one, top goal in Kids Club is to see these precious ones grow closer to our Savior over the course of this school year. And as I watched them, so engaged with the lesson, listening intently, answering questions, and encouraging their friends... 

As I sat there, leading this lesson, I thought...

This is why I do it.

This is why I don't mind Wednesday being such a long day each week.

It's so incredibly 100% worth it.

So to wrap up this "letter," I'll say...

Thanks, Kids Club.

Thanks for the fun way to end my Wednesday each week.

And more than that, thanks for giving our kids yet another way to learn about you. What a blessing it is to work in a Christian School! Thanks for that reminder, as well.

Sincerely,
Me

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Currently

Happy Thursday Y’all

Today I’m joining Anne from In Residence for her monthly Currently link-up, where we share what’s currently going on in our lives.

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Each month, Anne gives us a list of prompts to use to guide our posts. This month’s prompts were: 

* starting * buying * sharing * reading * recording *

So what am I currently up to?

I’m currently starting to do better about preventing myself from working so much at home. Wish me luck at continuing :)

I’m currently buying not a lot. My fridge and freezer are both full. My cabinets are full. So why buy more? However, with that said... When a friend told me our school's Cantina (snack counter) had Dr. Peppers in stock, I quickly made my way out there to get a couple. After all, this goodness is a rare treat now that I live in the land of no Dr. Peppers :)



I’m currently sharing my heart with a great group of kids. I consider it to be such a blessing to be their teacher.

I’m currently reading this adaptation of Inside Out with my class, as part of some Social Skills lessons I like to do at the beginning of the year, learning how to deal with various emotions we all have. My students have LOVED this book. We'll finish it today. And then tomorrow, we'll watch the movie. My kids are so excited! And I do believe I am too :)




I’m currently recording nothing really... Well, other than 4 pages, double spaced, all about Writing Quality IEPs for a class I'm taking. Sounds exciting, huh? :)


And that's what I'm currently up to.

What about you?