Top Five Finds of the Last Decade. For me, anyway.

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That darn cat!

My cat’s current mission in life seems to be to wake me up in the middle of the night for her every need.  Now, she is no baby.  She’s a nine-year-old girl, who was up until now VERY independent.  In her defense, I did forget to get her food before I went to bed last night (I knew she was getting low, I just forgot to refill her bowl before I went to sleep).  So by 6:30 this morning, she was trying to eat my nose off gently waking me with her nose to get me to feed her.  But it’s been other things, too.  Her current method of hydration is nearly exclusively drinking from the fancy fountain (aka, the water faucet in my bathroom).  I have come to the conclusion that she must think all I do in the shower is drink water, because she seems rather indignant that I don’t let her drink when I get out of the shower and she runs in to the fancy fountain.  And last week, after the school year (FINALLY*) ended, and I could sleep late until the exact same time I normally do because hey, I still had work to do, she decided that the most important thing in her entire life was getting into my laundry closet.  So she scratched, and she scratched, and I am pretty sure if she had lips she would have blown the door down.  I finally gave in and she was content.  I am learning that all that behavior training I have learned for my students doesn’t work on cats.  Cats are too sophisticated to let humans “train” them.  They will take over the world, they do believe.  

*Speaking of the end of the school year/students/teaching, my first year of teaching is finally over, and I survived it with no gray hairs.  Huzzah!  (I do, however, have a deep fine line in my forehead, but considering I am pretty much genetically predetermined to get both, I guess the fine line is okay.)  I will dare say that I even enjoyed my first year.  It was not easy (I may say that I might have actually thought teaching was easy before I got into it.  HAH!).  There were days that I cried.  But in the end, I do love (most) of my kiddos.  They are a lot of fun.  And as for the “finally,” with the windstorm (possibly mentioned earlier here…oh yes.  Just vaguely in my Thanksgiving post.) and the ice storm, we missed 10 days of school this year.  So we started school on August 12 and did not get out until June 3.  Teachers worked until June 5.  That is nearly a 10 month school year.  We go back August 11 (kids come back August 13).  And we have PD (professional development, also known as CEUs) all summer, plus I am in class.  I like to tell people that I really do think it is cute when people think teachers get summers off.  Because we do not.  Oh well.  Luckily, I usually like my job.

I will try to be better at updating during the summer (no promises during the school year).  Next up?  My new place.

Um…I ate too much peanut butter today.

And I liked it.

So, I started doing The South Beach Diet on Thursday (so cliche, yes, but I didn’t want to start anything before New Year’s Eve…).  And it is kicking my tail.  So today I got some all natural, organic, super healthy (0r so I thought) peanut butter.  And then I proceeded to eat…let’s just say too much of it.  But oh dear goodness, it was good.  However, if healthy, organic peanut butter is the death of the two pounds I’ve lost since Thursday, I might have to quit and drink myself a Coca-Cola.  Because I love a good, ice-cold Coca Cola, and it’s really sad that I can’t have one!

(I am doing this primarily for my health – I will be 29 this year and I am trying to avoid the pitfalls of poor eating that have plagued my family.  Namely my parents.  I am at high risk for heart disease and diabetes.)  

I changed the look of the blog.  I would love a custom header, etc., but really, I think all of two people read this blog, if that, so I don’t know that it’s worth paying for a header!  But this is pretty.  If I can figure out how to change the font on the title, I will be pleased.

Christmas break ends tomorrow, and I go back to my glorious boys (and one girl).  I am excited to see them, and I am highly blessed to work with two wonderful assistants that I enjoy.  I am just dreading getting up before 8:00 a.m.  And also, my lesson plans for the week aren’t done.  But tomorrow’s are done, and I might work on the rest of the week’s in a bit.  

So for now, I will say farewell…For posterity, a picture of how long my hair is:

 

Wow, look at that stray hair over there!
Wow, look at that stray hair over there!

Compare to June:  Moosh Whoorling Post…

Happy New Year to all!

Pouring it out.

I came here to write, but I find myself out of words, or rather, with nothing new to say.  

But he knows.  He hears my groans, and the Spirit intercedes for me.  He gives me strength not to try to write my own story, as if that would truly work anyway.  But he gives me strength to believe, in faith, that it is better to wait and trust and read the story a page at a time instead of peeking ahead at the ending to know how it turns out.

I guess, in truth, we’ve seen the ultimate ending.  He wins.  But the way my life will play out, I have yet to see.  And I know he’s seen it.  Like the presents that were wrapped so beautifully under our Christmas tree, he knows what is wrapped up in my life.  And I want to beg with him and plead with him some days for some reassurance that I will have what I so desperately want.  But gently he teaches me that faith is walking one step at a time.

So that is what I will do.  But right now, I am broken, and cried out, and a little sad and a little mad.  And I know He can take it – he already has, and yet he has calmed me and brought me peace.  And I am pouring all that out before the Lord, the one who knit together my mind, my heart, and my soul, and who knows my thoughts.  And I am asking him to just be present.

Christmas

Have you ever listened to the words of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!?  The first verse sums up Christmas in four words – God and sinners reconciled.

That’s it.

The rest of the song is an admonition to praise the one who saved us and reconciled us to Himself through the gift given in Jesus.

I struggle – I will be the first to admit it.  I struggle a LOT with joy, and peace (go down the list).  I struggle with holding on to the “true meaning” of Christmas in this ever-changing world.  My family has shifted dramatically in the last seven years and with it my enjoyment of Christmas seems to have shifted.  The older I get, and the more single (if there is such a thing) I get, the harder it is to accept Christmas for what it is.  

There is all kinds of talk about the “true meaning” of Christmas.  But quite simply, Christmas is what it is.  Stripped bare of meanings, stripped bare of celebrations, stripped bare of the trappings and trimmings, Christmas isn’t about family.  It isn’t about giving, it isn’t about lights, or world peace, or anything else.  Christmas simply is God and sinners reconciled.

And when I can get back to that basic truth, I think I will come through Christmas a much happier person.  Because the gifts – both those given and those received – are just a way to celebrate being reconciled with God.  The time with family – it is just one way to celebrate being reconciled with God.  None of it should matter.  None of it should get to me.  Christmas itself won’t change whether I ever get married or stay single, I have children or do not, live with my parents or live alone because Christmas at it’s very core cannot change.  Oh, the way I celebrate it can, and if I let myself believe that Christmas is the celebration, then yes, it can become a burden and a sad time.  But in reality, Christmas does not change.

God reconciled sinners to himself.  

Joyful all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies!  With angelic hosts proclaim…Christ is born in Bethlehem.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have tried to write a lot in the last 3.5 months…but it all just sort of got away from me.  So.  Happy Thanksgiving, and here’s a little update from me!

The first month of the school year was brutal.  Absolutely, positively brutal.  Aside from the typical new teacher stuff, I am a new teacher in graduate school, so I was trying to so both at once; and added to that is working with one of the most difficult populations of students to teach and having a particularly difficult student on top of the general difficulties of my class.  By September 12, I was about to crack.  I had a great weekend that weekend though – I went out to a really, really fun dinner with some friends to a fancy restaurant to celebrate one of my best friend’s birthdays on Saturday, September 13.  And then September 14, Hurricane Ike hit Kentucky.

Seriously.  

And we got a week off of school.  And I actually slept.  And I finally could breathe again.  And I got a little bit of a handle on my job.  

So.  Suddenly, it’s Thanksgiving.  And I love (LOVE) my job.  My students are awesome.  I love them.  School (grad) is awful, but it is a requirement of my job and my job is a requirement of school, so I endure it.  I am blessed with two amazing instructional assistants and an amazing speech therapist, who I love working with every day.  We have fun at work.  I am thriving at work. 

So…that’s where I am right now.  When people ask what I am up to, I hate to say it, but it is pretty much “work and school.”  School gets neglected a lot, but it gets done when it needs to get done.  

I am looking mightily forward to Christmas break, and getting some real rest without schoolwork looming overhead.  And I am looking forward to blogging again.  Kids say funny things.  Someone should share them.  

At the starting line of the rest of my life…

…I’m as ready as I’ve been.

Tomorrow is my first official day as a classroom teacher.  I have nine little lives, little ones with many special needs, depending on me.  Two adult assistants who are waiting for me to tell them what to do.  I am, to put it mildly, nervous.

Also, my baby niece starts FIRST GRADE tomorrow.  (I can’t even type that without crying.  It would help if I would stop watching the Olympics and listening to daddy/daughter songs.)  There is a picture of her on my wall with chubby baby cheeks, she was about six months old.  Her daddy was in Iraq, and she had just learned how to take steps if someone was holding her hand.  It is amazing to me that someone so small can grow into someone so big.  She’s going to be an amazing first grader. 

I hope I am as good a teacher as she is a student.  Time will tell!  But wish me luck, and add some prayers, please!