Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday's Letters

Dear Kids Club, You were great this week. We continued with our series on Parables and discussed the Parable of the Talents and how we can use the talents God's blessed us with to serve and glorify Him. I loved hearing our kiddos share what God's blessed them with, hearing them pray for one another, and just enjoying each other's company. 


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Dear Waves Crashing, You are a sound that I absolutely love! Thanks to a weekend spent watching softball played on a field near the ocean, I got to enjoy quite a bit of you. 


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Dear Funny Teacher Memes, I've found a few of you this week. Thanks for making me laugh :)



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Dear Nieces, I so miss you! 


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Dear Olympics, You happened at my school this week. You were fun. The kids LOVED you!


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Dear Reading, I've said it before, but it's so true. My class LOVES you. I absolutely love their enjoyment of you. It definitely causes my teacher heart to be full of pride and joy :)


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Dear Philippians 4:8, You're the verse a co-worker shared during our staff devotions the other day. What a blessing you are in my life. Thanks for being just what I needed to read/hear at that moment.



Dear Division, You're not the most favorite math topic in the lives of my 5th graders. But when they get to practice you using dry erase markers on their desk tops, it helps a bit. Here's hoping they all master you soon and don't hate their mean ol' teacher for forcing them to learn you in the process :)



Dear Oriental Trading, You've got a free shipping deal going on right now. Do you know how dangerous that is for me? I'm trying to plan for an end of year party/mini 5th grade graduation and all the cute decorations are so tempting :)


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Dear Friday Morning Staff Meetings, I wouldn't necessarily call you the highlight of my week because who really wants to be at in an hour long meeting starting at 7:15 in the morning on a Friday after a long week of work. But honestly... I do enjoy you each week. Our admin is great about making these meetings actually applicable to our jobs/lives. To me, that helps so very much. So I must say... Unlike a lot of places, our Friday morning staff meetings aren't too bad.



Dear Friday, You're here! You're here! Yippee! :)

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What's Up February

Today I'm linking up with MelShay, and Sheaffer for this month's What's Up Wednesday post. I know I say it a lot. But it's true. It feels like time just flies by. How is it already the last Wednesday of February. It'll be Christmas before we know it :)

 


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 this week?

I haven't been cooking anything terribly exciting. But I did have a bit of tasty goodness at the ball field this past weekend. Hello snow cones and grilled burgers & fries:)

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What am I reminiscing about?

I dug up a bunch of old photos and shared them on Facebook last week on my brother's birthday. So that's prompted a lot of reminiscing. Oh and in case you were wondering... I know there are a lot of brothers out there. But mine is the best :)

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What am I loving?

There's a lot of good things going on in my life at the moment. So I have plenty I could list here. But instead, I'll link back to a post I wrote a couple weeks ago, where I shared my 5th graders' responses to the question, WHAT IS LOVE? 


Did you miss this post? Check it out HERE.

What have I been up to?

Many of our students, staff, and parents participated in WAIST (a softball tournament) last weekend. So I spent the bulk of my weekend at the ball field, which just happens to be not far from the coast. It was a nice weekend, spent with friends and co-workers, watching softball, soaking up some sun, and relaxing :)

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What am I dreading?

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I hate to say this because I hate to sound super negative. But here goes... 

Facebook has this thing which shows memories of posts from that day in years past. And 99% of the time they're super cool. But right now... They're full of pain and sadness and heartache as I see all of these posts of my dad's health deteriorating. It was about this time 2 years ago that his (already poor) health started the dramatic nosedive, leading up to his eventual death. It's so hard to think that this April will make 2 years since he passed away. Lately, it's been hitting me a LOT. It's the smell of freshly cut grass. It's the sight of a father picking up his young daughter. It's a glimpse of what life could've been like. It's a reminder of what I'll never have. It's advice needed. It's hugs I can't feel any longer. It's phone calls I can no longer make. It's ministry planning without his support. It's pictures and memories and so very much more. And yes, I know he's in a far better place. Yes, I'm so incredibly happy that he's no longer suffering. But y'all, I miss my dad something fierce. And while I always check the memory feed on Facebook, because more times than not it honestly is fun and good, I always have a little sense of dread at what might come...

What am I working on?

I've been spending at least 3 or 4 hours every weekend working on curriculum stuff for next year. I've also realized that curriculum/textbook writers and editors definitely do not get paid enough. It's a HUGE job and I probably won't be finished any time soon. But that's okay. It'll still help me out for next year (and beyond). And while it may be a challenge, that's okay too. After all, as I've said before, I do enjoy a good challenge.

What am I excited about?

I'm excited about a fun project I'm doing with my 5th graders. We're planning and researching at the moment. Soon we'll be writing and revising and typing. Then we'll be all dressed up and ready to present our research to some special guests. I can't wait!

What am I watching?

I've been watching Speechless. It's a fictional show about the life of a family with a son who has special needs. There are some semi-inappropriate things here and there. Things which might not be totally suitable for younger audiences... But overall, it really is a good show. And I have really been enjoying it.



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Speechless on ABC

What am I reading?

At the moment, I'm rereading through my Berean/Global University coursebooks. My goal is to spend a good chunk of time every single evening reviewing and getting ready for those courses' exams, which I'll be taking in April. I'm so ready to be finished with these. And when I do finish, then all I'll have left is the interview/big exam and I can receive my Ordination with the Assemblies of God. It's been a long (hard at times) road. But it's been so worth it. I'm so ready to finish this process and see what God has in store for me!




What am listening to?

Thanks to the gift of an iTunes gift card, I was able to buy a few new songs. One that's been on repeat is Rend Collective's Build Your Kingdom Here. I have loved this group for a while. And then I heard this song at church not long ago. I think it might just be my favorite of theirs. It's so perfectly applicable for this work God's called me to.


What am I wearing?

Flip Flops - That would be one of the main perks of living in a place that's hot pretty much all year long :)

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What am I doing this weekend?

We have Olympics at my school the next two days. So I think by Friday evening, I'm going to be exhausted! But, I'll be back in my classroom on Saturday morning, doing more research/planning/creating my curriculum for next school year. And then on Sunday, I'll go to church and hopefully back home to study Berean and rest some too.

What am I looking forward to next month?

SPRING BREAK!!! Want to know what I'm doing over Spring Break? Check it out HERE.


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This meme is totally meant to be funny. But yeah... It probably is true :)

What else is new?

Mardi Gras (well, Fat Tuesday) is next week. I'm planning to make gumbo and a king cake and have some friends over. I swear, I should've been born in Cajun country. My short time in that part of God's beautiful creation was far too short!


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And then each month, there is a special question for the month. 

The question for February is... What's your "can't live without" beauty product?

Ok. So anyone that knows me knows beauty routines just aren't my thing. I don't wear make-up except for special occasions. I rarely wear my hair down. It's up in a ponytail 90% of the time. So my answers to this question will probably be considered quite lame. 


But oh well. Here goes...

1) Aussie Scrunch Spray - I have super curly hair. I used to HATE my hair. But eventually, I realized I was stuck with these curls, so I might as well accept them. And now... Now, I love my hair! I typically will start the day with my hair down. So I need something in it to tame the madness that is my curls. I started using Aussie spray way back when and I love it. It's inexpensive. It smells decent. And it doesn't make my hair super stiff and gross. So yeah... I'd consider it a "can't live without" product. If my hair's down (meaning it's not ridiculously hot outside and I'm not chasing after kids at work), then Aussie's in use.


FYI - Aussie is not paying me to say this. I just think their product is awesome ;)

2. Candy Cane/Peppermint Chapstick - I am definitely a hoarder of candy cane/peppermint flavored chapstick. I love the stuff! I have like a zillion tubes of the stuff. I love it. And since it's not out all year long, I usually stock up if I'm back in the States at Christmas time. That way I'll have it all the time :)


Chapstick Limited Edition Candy Cane a Pack of 3
Chap Stick, nor Amazon paid me to say this. I just think this product (and Amazon Prime's "free" shipping) is awesome :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

What I Wish I Could Say

 Today I'm joining Ashley and Erika for their monthly Tuesday Talk link-up, where we chat about anything that's on our mind. Lately, I've had a few things I've wanted to say, but have chosen to bite my tongue, so to speak, instead. So I thought I'd share some of those. 

I’ve written about times I’ve encountered people who left me speechless, but wishing I could’ve said something, but knowing there’s no way. Here are a few such encounters.

*one*

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There was the family friend, who while chatting on Facebook, asked, “Girl, why aren’t you married yet? You’re getting older, you know.” I sweetly responded, “Well, God hasn’t sent me a husband yet. When He does, then I will get married.”

But what I wanted to say was, “Ugh! Thank you for pointing this out. There’s no way I would’ve known that I’m STILL not married at 31. Oh my word… I’m just soooooooo glad you told me. I'll be able to rest so much easier now.”

*two*

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 And while we’re on the subject of marriage, how about this “fun” article I read online? And I know that’s not an actual conversation with someone, but I think it totally still applies here…

It was an article, entitled, “Help I’m the Only Single in My Group of Friends.” I shouldn’t have clicked on it. I should’ve known better. But no, I took the bait and checked it out. It was written from a Christian perspective and was full of “helpful hints” on how to survive being the only single one in your group.

Want to know what one of the helpful hints was?

You need to have more faith. If you have more faith, God will give you a spouse.

Ok, so here’s my question…

Are you saying that the reason I’m not married is because I don’t have enough faith?

This goes right up there with people who say that if I’d just pray harder, God would send me a husband. Because I honestly have so very much faith. Yet, I know God has a reason for everything. And while I may not understand His reasoning all the time, I have to believe that He truly does have my absolute best interest at heart.

Ummm…

Anywho – Let’s get away from the marriage talk.

*three*

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Another situation I’ve encountered where I wish I could’ve said more was with a person who called a certain type of student UNLEARNABLE. Oh dear Jesus, this is an area where I get so incredibly upset. I kept my mouth shut at the time, because we weren’t in an appropriate setting for me to set this guy straight. 

But I so wanted to say more… I wanted to yell, STOP! PLEASE STOP CALLING THESE KIDS (OR ANYONE FOR THAT MATTER) UNLEARNABLE! DO YOU REALIZE HOW STUPID THAT IS?!

UGH!

Y’all, I am a firm believer that no one, absolutely no one, is unlearnable. We can all learn something. Even an infant learns to cry when she’s wet or hungry. It’s small but she did learn something.

Again… UGH!

*four*

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Facebook usually gives me plenty of “What I Wish I’d Said” moments too… One of the most common ones is when people who call themselves Christians, talk about hating a group of people. 

What I’d like to say is… Um, guys… I’m pretty sure God talked about that more than once in the Bible. We’re supposed to love and not hate. Remember?

And I’d also like to ask them…

How is your Christian witness helped by spewing out such hateful words toward someone who acts/worships/speaks/prays/etc. differently than you? How can you spew out that hate and then expect someone to listen to you when you turn and share the Gospel with them?

I don’t get it.

Anywho - That's just a few of the things I wish I could've said, but didn't...

Want to add your blog to the link-up? Click HERE.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Love According to my 5th Graders

I asked my 5th graders the following question yesterday. 

What is LOVE?

Here are some of their responses...

LOVE IS being there for someone and caring for someone.


LOVE IS friendship, family, and others.


LOVE IS passion. It's your life that God gave to you. 

LOVE IS what everyone should do to others and you!


An example of LOVE IS between a mother and son. That's LOVE that is divulged when your mom kisses you for the first time. She loves you because you are hers. 

P.S. Look at the picture. He said it's the mother giving her love to her son. :)
LOVE MEANS sharing love with people by making them have a smile on their faces.


Another example of LOVE IS the LOVE between moms and daughters. 


LOVE CAN BE when you like someone. You're not "solo" (alone). 


You SHOW LOVE WITH kindness. That's how you say I LOVE YOU.


LOVE MEANS caring and helping other people and LOVING them like God who made us!


LOVE MEANS being kind to everyone - even those you do not like!


LOVE MEANS BFFs.


Friends and family SHARE A SPECIAL TYPE OF LOVE that only some people have.


LOVE IS LOVING people and God.


LOVE MEANS that God LOVED us and He made me and the world.