Sunday, December 21, 2008
This afternoon Ciaran let me sleep until my fever broke and then we watched the cartoon Grinch on TV and now we're about to watch White Christmas. Ciaran needed to get some work done at school today, but he offered to stay at home with me this afternoon since I'm feeling so crummy. He's so good to me. Hopefully I'll be feeling better by tomorrow because I myself have a ton of work to get done at school yet too. I don't want to have to cart home too many papers to grade; I know I'll have at least 90 papers to grade at home, but I'm going to try and get the rest of it done here before we head north late on the 23rd or early on the 24th. Well, I think it's time to watch our movie now. Hope everyone's enjoying a restful and joy-filled Sabbath as we prepare our hearts for Christmas!!! Enjoy your day!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Saturday, December 06, 2008
First I want to highlight Revive Our Hearts' "31 Days of Pryaing for Your Husband." I love this resource because each day has a different focus for prayer and then it has accompanying verses. The website also has a PDF download available for those of you that do not like the web format and want to print it out. I especially appreciate this because I love anything that I can easily access online.
The next resource aiding me in my prayer efforts is Stormie Omartian's The Power of a Praying Wife. I love this book so much! Each chapter has some commentary and personal reflections on the topic for prayer and then she actually has a written out prayer that you can pray word for word or use it as a starting point. Some of the topics for prayer include, his work, his finances, his mind, his purpose, his priorities, his obedience, his walk, his talk, etc. This resource is truly invaluable to me right now as it guides my prayers and keeps me focused on praying with an eternal perspective.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
And Thanksgiving was wonderful. I spent some quality time with my mom and her family and then spent some quality time with Ciaran's family and friends; we even got to go to a Spirit game while we were in town which was fun. But I'm struggling with feelings of dread tonight. My flesh is crying out against having to get back to the grind of work and the inevitable, hectic busyness of it all. It was so wonderful to have a few days to just veg and sleep and read and spend undistracted time with the Lord. It's hard not to be homesick when every visit is so absolutely wonderful. Goodness, now I'm feeling sad. I better go spend some more time with the Lord. And hopefully Ciaran will be here soon. :-)
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Also, for those of you who love hymns, Covenant Life Church out in Maryland are memorizing hymns. Here's the link to Joshua Harris's blog post about it. They are memorizing "Amazing Grace" this month...sooo good. Next month is" Before the Throne." I love these hymns, especially "Before the Throne"!!! Check it out when you have a chance!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
On a more positive note, I was patrolling blogs tonight and came across this quote on the Girl Talk blog:
"It is faith that enlivens our work with perpetual cheerfulness. It commits every part of it to God, in the hope, that even mistakes shall be overruled for his glory; and thus relieves us from an oppressive anxiety, often attendant upon a deep sense of our responsibility. The shortest way to peace will be found in casting ourselves upon God for daily pardon of deficiencies and supplies of grace, without looking too eagerly for present fruit." -Charles Bridges
Wow, did I need this quote today. I desperately need for God to give me a fresh burst of passion and cheerfulness in my work. Nicole and I were talking tonight about how different teaching is from our dreams of teaching when we were in college...we both set out to change the world (or at least our small part of it); to make a difference, and yet we seem caught in a battle with papers and apathetic students and politics and sheer exhaustion. But I know that as I spend some extended time with the Lord tonight, He will revive me and give me the strength I need to keep going. Gotta love the first year of teaching. At least God has provided me with a wonderfully supportive husband (he is an absolute treasure; I realize this more and more with each passing day) and a great colleague who is fighting through her first year of teaching as well.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Thursday, October 02, 2008
At The Cross
P.S. And for those of you looking at the time of this post and concerned that I'm neglecting my dear husband, have no fear...he's coaching tonight until sometime after 9. :-) I'll get home before he does.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I am so in awe of God and where He has brought Ciaran and myself over the past seven years since we met. Our relationship is truly a testimony of God's abundant and amazing grace that He lavishes on His people. We cannot help but humbly stand in awe of how He has grown us and provided for us every step of the way. It is such a surreal thing to be sitting in my classroom tonight, typing away at this computer and looking around me at my "new" life and the new life that will be stretching before me come next Friday and I just have to look heavenward and praise our great and awesome God for bringing us here. Words cannot possibly even scratch the surface of what I'm feeling tonight.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
God also provided me a place to live for the weeks leading up to our wedding. I will be staying with a very sweet Christian couple. The wife is a fellow English teacher at the school. I feel so blessed and overwhelmed by how God just keeps abundantly providing for our every need in this hectic, but oh so fun season of our lives.
Monday, August 11, 2008
And what wedding plans am I working on today? Well, I'm all about finding our location right now. Ciaran and I would ideally like to be married in an outdoor setting at an area B&B; something low-key and simple. We want a simple Friday evening wedding and return to work on Monday. We hope to go on our honeymoon during spring break (if we end up with the same spring break that is) or sometime next summer. After spending the afternoon on the phone, I have two appointments made for us to visit some B&B's tomorrow in the morning...Henderson Castle and Castle in the Country. We'll see how the visits go; I'm excited! :-) I'm also looking at a place called Greencrest Manor, but I haven't checked their availability dates yet. Both of the two we're visiting tomorrow currently have both our ideal dates available.
Oh and I found my wedding dress already. I hate shopping so I was dreading that task a bit, but it proved to be incredibly simple. I tried on maybe six dresses total between two different places and once I tried this particular one on, like my cousin Katelen said, it was immediately clear it was the dress. Simple as that. I love simple! Sorry I can't give any more details, Ciaran tends to frequent this blog in spurts...don't want to risk him finding out any details about it. :-)
Well, that concludes my interviewing and wedding planning update. Hopefully I'll have a chance to write again sometime this week.
Friday, August 08, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Lord, as the day begins lift up our hearts in praise-"Lord, As The Day Begins" Trinity Hymnal (Blue) #399
take from us all our sins, guard us in all our ways:
our every step direct and guide that Christ in all be glorified!
Christ be in work and skill, serving each other's need;
Christ be in thought and will, Christ be in word and deed:
our minds be set on things above in joy and peace, in faith and love.
Grant us the Spirit's strength, teach us to walk his way;
so bring us all at length safe to the close of day:
from hour to hour sustain and bless, and let our song be thankfulness.
Now as the day begins make it the best of days;
take from us all our sins, guard us in all our ways:
our every step direct and guide that Christ in all be glorified!
Friday, July 18, 2008
Sunday started with a God-saturated time of worship. I love Midland Free so much--rarely am I able to walk away from worship without having encountered our living God and enjoyed such sweet fellowship with the believers there as well. Pastor Jay's sermon on spiritual gifts was yet another reminder of how far God has brought be during this academic year (and how much He has worked through my mentor Bev to bring me to this point)...and also how far I have yet to go. :-) I still am not entirely certain about my spiritual gifts, but I did experience this year while serving in Chidren's Ministries that "joyful exhaustion" that Pastor Jay mentioned. I loved serving in this capacity and I loved how it so greatly affected my week as well. I was continually ruminating on our lesson for the children and God would bring many of them to my mind to pray for. I couldn't wait to see their little faces on Sunday morning and to help in teaching them God's Word, whether in play or in the craft or in the little activities after teaching time. I miss the kids so much and I know I want to be involved in Children's Ministries in whatever church I end up at next year.
Then after church Ciaran and I took my fifteen-year-old-cousin Katelen driving. She's just learning to drive (just got her pink slip!) and since Ciaran spent the better part of the past winter and spring learning how to be a driver's training instructor, we had a blast having her drive around Heritage's driving course and around Ciaran's neighborhoods. Katelen is a great driver and Ciaran of course is a great instructor. Katelen also got to meet Ciaran's parents and a couple of his siblings and then we took her out to dinner and back to my house for the rest of the night. It was so great to be able to sit around with her and talk and watch movies and just hang out; it's been a long time since we had extended time with her together. And she's grown up so much, she was just eight years old when she first met Ciaran...and now she's driving! Does time fly or what?!!!
The beginning of the week also included Ciaran and I going with my cousin Adam out to Delta College (Ciaran knows a number of people out there in admissions). Adam got so much done that morning (testing, meeting with an academic advisor and financial aid...all in just a few hours) and then of course we enjoyed a nice lunch with him. Adam's getting into the computer science field and it was SO much fun to spend time talking with him about that and just hanging out with him. But before we went out to Delta (just shortly after Ciaran pulled into the driveway to pick me up) a huge semi pulled up in front of our house. The moving van had arrived for Carter's stuff. As soon as Ciaran and I left my house, I burst into tears. I had been SO excited for Carter up until that point, but I don't know, it was as if the full realization of what was coming hit me full force over the head. My brother is moving to California!
Then also during the beginning of the week, Ciaran and I trekked to the west side of the state to go visit his new school (he had a meeting with the athletic director) and then we went and looked at apartments. Ciaran starts coaching on the 11th which is coming up pretty soon. We had a blast exploring the area and as for the school he will be teaching at...wow! The school he taught at out in New Hampshire was phenomenal (think small New England college campus...at least that's what it felt like) and obviously this new one can't compete with that, but it IS incredibly beautiful. Brand new building (they've only been in it since 2005) and it is huge! It's a class A school, but it still seems enormous!
Now on to the middle of the week: my first official teaching interview. This took place outside of Lansing and although I was pretty nervous the night before, the day of the actual interview I felt incredibly calm and just generally excited (all by God's grace of course). The interview itself was so much fun. They asked really insightful questions and posed quite a few challenging scenarios, but come on, two hours where all I talk about is teaching is right up my alley. I didn't want it to end. It was such a positive experience for my first teaching interview. I can't wait for the next one!
And now for the end of the week: Carter is winging his way to California right now. I cried and cried and cried. I promised myself I wouldn't cry in front of him, but of course, as he started finalizing things this morning I started getting all choked up and when we hugged good-bye right before he left, I completely lost it. You'd think I'd be better at goodbye's by now (after all those Ciaran and I had to go through), but I'm not. But I'm excited for Carter, this is such an awesome opportunity and he's going to have so many cool experiences traveling the world with this job. This is a good thing. But it's still sad right now. All right, Ciaran's on his way over to cheer me up (we're going to hit a few golf balls out in the field...that's right, Ciaran's teaching me how to golf--I'm HORRIBLE, but it's still pretty fun to laugh at how horrible I am).
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Monday, June 30, 2008
1. The Cross-Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney
-I love this book SO much. Ciaran and I are reading it as a devotional (we should finish it sometime in August). This book has forced me to really pause and savor and contemplate the cross. It is helping to draw me deeper and deeper in my relationship with Christ. I read one section each morning with my Bible reading and I find myself pausing throughout my day to worship Christ as I consider what I have read. I never want to "move on from the cross, only into a more profound understanding of the cross" (Mahaney 17). And this book is helping me to do just that. Ciaran and I are loving this book and we heartily recommend it to anyone who longs to live more fully "the cross-centered life."
2. Middlemarch by George Eliot
-Yes, I graduated from college with a B.A. in Literature and never read this classic. Of course I read excerpts and was reminded over and over again by professors and classmates alike that I need to make reading this book a priority, but alas I never got around to it. I had been told that Eliot was phenomenal and that I would find her characters absolutely fascinating, but unfortunately she has always been bypassed by me up until now. I've just started this novel, so maybe I'll post again about this book in the weeks to come.
3. The Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne
-Another so-called "classic" which I usually only read one at a time, but a recent visit to the library with my cousin Katelen prompted me to add this one to my current reading list as well. I loved The Scarlet Letter and this was also another recommendation from lit. classmates.
4. Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol
-This was hailed a "must-read" for policy makers and since I eventually want to work in the field of education policy I decided to pick this one up. I usually read this one at bedtime and usually end up in tears. Kozol writes about the poorest congressional district in the U.S. and what is happening to our children there. Horrifying and it makes me want to pack up my bags and go help in anyway I can. I think this a must read for all Americans, not just policy makers. Welcome to the United States of America.
5. The Shape of Sola Scriptura by Keith A. Mathison
The doctrine of sola Scriptura, that's what this whole book is about. Need I say more?! I am gobbling this book up. This book takes you through the historical context, scriptural backing, the theological necessity of this doctrine, etc. I love, love, love this book! I can't believe it's been on our bookshelf for over three years and I never read it!!! My mom received it as a gift from some Bible study friends and I plucked it up as soon as I discovered it...and I haven't been able to put it down since. :-)
6. The Cross of Christ by John R.W. Stott
I wish I could say that I'm gobbing this one up too, but unfortunately it hasn't received a lot of face time and I'm still only on page 34. It's a theologically rich book and I can't wait to devote more time to it, but I just haven't gotten to it lately.
7. When Sinners Say "I Do": Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage by Dave Harvey
A book recommendation I picked up off of the Radical Womanhood blog. Carolyn McCulley says that, "you don't need to be married to learn from this book how to live redemptively in close relationships." And wow is she right! So far, it's been a challenging and convicting and simultaneously uplifting read as it's pointed me Godward, to the author and perfecter of my faith!!! This will be a book I'll read over and over again.
8. 35 Classroom Management Strategies: Promoting Learning and Building Community by Adrienne L. Herrell and Michael Jordan
Interlibrary loaned this for one of my fun, teaching books to peruse this summer. So far it's a good read, haven't found anything earth-shattering and new, but I'm only a few strategies into it. So we'll have to see.
And that rounds out eight of my current reads. You can click on my Shelfari bookshelf to find more, if you are so inclined. Enjoy your evening.
Oh and Ciaran comes home very late tomorrow night! I'm beyond giddy right now. I can't believe I was able to concentrate long enough to write this rather lengthy post. :-) Pray for him as he travels all day tomorrow!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Saturday, May 31, 2008
At the hospital, I was quickly given an IV with lots and lots of fluids, and the normal amounts of Zofran, Fennegrin, Toradol and Dilaudid (probably slaughtering the spelling of these meds). Within a couple hours my nausea had abated, my dehydrated body was properly hydrated once again and about four hours after we arrived, I was allowed to go home with even more intense pain meds and more anti-nausea. For the record Vicodin barely even touches the pain of kidney stones. It's laughable really. So my new stuff consists of "extra-strength Vicodin" piggybacked with Toradol two hours after I take the Vicodin. We'll see how this stuff works once my stone starts its trek again, right now its not moving much so I'm feeling little pain (thus not taking those meds). And my meds for an infection that has set in (this also occurs EVERY time I get kidney stones) just makes me feel so comfortably sleepy that today has been a quite lovely day, which basically means I've slept most of it away up until now.
All right, back to the recliner in the living room I go. I watched the movie 27 Dresses with my mom, Aunt Martha and cousin Katelen last night. Very cute. I think I'm going to go watch it again. :-)
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Here are just a few of my current favorites:
Get Rich Slowly
The Simple Dollar
YNAB Blog (I actually don't go to this one that much because I have the e-book and I've taken the YNAB free e-course, but I had to list this because the software and e-course are so phenomenal.)
And once again I've run out of time to post. Enjoy your night!
Monday, May 26, 2008
In other news, it's now official--my brother is moving to California in July! He's so excited and he and my mom enjoyed a few hours working in his bedroom this afternoon, cleaning stuff out and starting to plan what's going to go and what's going to stay. I'm so excited for him!!! It's so great to know that he's found a job he can get really excited about. What an answer to prayer. Well, it's starting to thunder and lightning outside, so I had better end here. Enjoy your night!
Friday, May 23, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
For those of you who haven't heard about Monergism Books, check it out here. I love Monergism Books because of the quality Christian literature they keep in print, especially some of the older classics.
Monday, May 19, 2008
The visit itself was quite nice. Aside from almost losing consciousness twice, vomiting so much that the dry heaves made me pull a muscle in my left side, and generally wishing my life would just end, I was whisked into my own little room at an incredibly brisk pace. The lovely nurse arrived quickly, joking about my ashen skin and lips and how they always know a kidney stone patient by our bent over position and pasty skin and lips, and I dazedly listened to her chatter as I willed her to get that IV into my arm as quickly as possibly. But alas, my veins wouldn't cooperate and after doing a number on my right arm, and then my left arm, we finally settled on my left hand and FINALLY my dear little friends came flowing steadily into my body. Friends with names such as Zofran, Toradol, Fenegrin and my new favorite...Dilaudid. In a matter of minutes, I went from going-out-of-my-mind pain and violently shaking from both pain and incredible coldness to this delightful warm, weighted sensation--I felt as if I was being wrapped in a warm, cozy, little cocoon.
And then there was the wonderful man who did my CT Scan. Through my medicated stupor he asked me where the pain was. "Pain," I slurred through my aforementioned medicated stupor. "What pain?" The nurse at my side laughed and asked where WAS the pain. Much better, I thought to myself. We must be accurate. I feel no pain. I quickly pointed to my right side to answer their question. The guy who did my CT Scan also chatted it up with me about his last bout with kidney stones and then told me about the grown men they get in the hospital sobbing like little babies and women with kids who say giving birth is nothing compared to the pain of kidney stones. I remember him saying these things, but once again, I'm in a medicated stupor, and all of this just amuses me. The pain is just a hazy memory now and I just want to be back in my little room with the warm blankets and sleep, sleep, sleep. Oh yes and keep the meds flowing through that IV for heavens sake!!!
And now, a few days later, I'm home and completely off both the Zofran and Vicodin they had me on for here at home. I still haven't passed the stone, but it's out of my kidney where it really causes pain and I'm trying to pass it on the lowest dosages of meds possible. I'm praying I get rid of it in the next two days...without going back on Vicodin. All right, I've run out of time to expand on my kidney stone narrative, so I'll end here for the night. :-)
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
And now on to the topic of Podrunner. Thanks to Jen and Shannon and their mission to run a 5K, I am now hooked on this as well. I’ve focused on keeping myself marginally in shape this winter (or so I thought) and so when Jen and Shannon were glowing about their new running regimen, I thought I would check it out. [Keep in mind, I am so not a runner.] I looked up the program online which is called Couch to 5K, wrote down the week one training schedule and set out yesterday on the road to running a 5K...eventually. A day later I am sooo sore! I thought I was in shape...apparently not. Then today Jen sent me the link to something called Podrunner. It is SO great! I downloaded the first two weeks onto my ipod and they sound like so much fun. Basically it's the C25K running program set to great music with audio cues for when to walk and when to run. The music tempo increases when your speed should be increasing. LOVE THIS! If you want to get in shape this summer, check out the website. I’ll be blogging about my progress in this area of interval training in the weeks to come, but I had to rave first about how cool these Podrunner downloads are first! Thanks Jen for sending me that link!
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Ah, summer has arrived...er, not really, but Summer League Soccer has arrived. I look forward to this every year. Yet when Ciaran moved to New Hampshire, I was sure my viewing of Wednesday night summer soccer would be lost too. Enter Gerrard’s Kopites, and problem solved. Some guys from my church put together a team and so not only do I still get to watch fun summer soccer, but I get to enjoy watching it with a bunch of girls from my church as well. So as you can probably tell, last night was a blast! For the record though, I still miss watching you play, Ciaran!!! You and Carter are still my favorites to watch!
In other reflections, Ciaran and I just began reading C.J. Mahaney’s Living the Cross Centered Life. I’ve skimmed this book before, but Ciaran and I are reading through it slowly, really savoring and working at applying what C.J. Mahaney writes about. This has been such an awesome and convicting experience so far. For example, read my blog and what pops up the most...hmmm....Ciaran, soccer, teaching, etc. Does the gospel? When you read my blog to do you see Christ permeating the entries? Hmmm.... If someone were to read my blog or talk to me at length, what would they say I am most passionate about? Probably they would have a long list because let’s face it; I’m passionate about a TON of stuff. Yet Mahaney says,
“If there’s anything in life we should be passionate about, it’s the gospel. And I don’t mean passionate only about sharing it with others; I mean passionate in thinking about the gospel, reflecting upon it, rejoicing in it, allowing it to color the way we look at the world and all of life.”Mahaney goes on to say,
“In the Scriptures we discover a profound urgency for focusing all we are and everything we do around the gospel of the cross. For not only does this good news come first chronologically in our Christian experience, but it stays foremost in critical importance for creating and sustaining our joy and our fruitfulness—a fact we too often overlook” (15). Is my joy and fruitfulness in Christ waning? Here is the solution. The gospel needs to be my one supreme passion, the very center of my life in all I say and do.
Hmmm...lots of stuff to pray about and so I’m praying this day that God will change my heart so these words typify my life, “Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” -Galatians 6:14. Well, I’m now off to run errands for a bit with my cousin Katelen, she may find me a bit distracted as I meditate on these truths this late afternoon. :-)
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
So where will my job search take me?! Only the Lord knows the answer to that one. I will be applying for jobs this week in Wisconsin and Indiana and there's actually one in Michigan as well (the same school Ciaran interviewed at last week on the west side of the state...although that one is a high school position and my experience is at the middle school level--thanks for the lead though Ciaran!). Pray for me if you think of it, I'm excited about this process, but I know I need wisdom and a clear sense of God's leading as I navigate these waters in the months to come.
And now for a brief recap. of my enjoyable week with Ciaran. OK, I just wrote that and immediately started to feel sad so I'm going to keep this short. It was a wonderful week! I know I conveyed that in my last post, but words really can't do justice to how nice it was to spend time in person with Ciaran again. And Ciaran's uncle and aunt were in town from Ireland and I hadn't met them before, so I enjoyed some time getting to know them as well. Ciaran's family is so fun to be around and his Uncle John loves literature and I so enjoyed some time discussing Oliver Goldsmith's The Deserted Village (one of his favorites as well as my own) and James Joyce and a whole host of other Irish literary figures. I always enjoy discussing Irish literature with Dr. Byrne, but having his brother to discuss this with as well made for some immensely enjoyable hours. And then Ciaran's Aunt Beatrice (she's originally from Spain and has a beautiful Spanish accent) also is inclined toward literary pursuits and so all around I was able to bask in the joy of discussing literature at length with both of them. What a joy!
All right, I'm going to end here because thinking about my time with Ciaran is making me miss him more...and I have AT LEAST seven more weeks to go before I see him again. :-) Hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful evening...it's absolutely gorgeous here, I might even take Ben for a long walk before the night is over!
Thursday, May 01, 2008
So on Sunday afternoon, Ciaran and I watched the Chelsea v. Man. U game (his brother, Paul, had recorded the Saturday game). My boys defeated his team, much to Ciaran's chagrin and now our teams are tied for first in the Prem. race...too fun! Nothing like some good healthy competition between the two of us. And while I'm on the topic of soccer, why don't we waltz over to the topic of Champions League Semi-Finals. So first, Man. U v. Barcelona...being the loving girlfriend that I am, I sucked it up and supported Man. U on Tuesday (partly because I was being said loving girlfriend, the other reason being I wanted an all English final in Moscow--ah the truth comes out doesn't it?! Hehe.) And thanks to Scholes (who moments before his amazing goal was delivered, Paul and Ciaran were fiercely critiquing his worth to Man U these days...too funny), Man U. is headed to the final in Moscow on May 21st! Then yesterday arrives, the moment of truth: Chelsea v. Liverpool!!! Ciaran being the loving boyfriend that he is supported Liverpool (they have a strong Irish population in Liverpool after all, but I think he was still nursing some wounds from Saturday's game). And yet, who is heading to Moscow on May 21st to go up against Manchester United?! Ah yes, that would be CHELSEA!!! When all is said and done though, I thought that was the best semi-final match I've seen in a long time. I was on the edge of my seat through the entire thing! I'm sorry Liverpool fans (Jen and Jared and Garrett and all the others that Jared has successfully marketed to his side that I don't know about yet). Your manager should never have taken out Torres, but alas he did and it was a brilliant day for my boys! OK, enough gloating. I've taken up too much space with soccer, but it's been an eventful week in the world of soccer and the best part has been Ciaran's in town to share it with! I've missed his brilliant commentaries so much!
Now to follow up with Ciaran's interviews that he has been blessed with this week...I'm not going to share too much about them since this is a public space and we don't know the outcomes yet, but I will share this. The interview he had this morning on the west side of the state was enjoyable, but the last question of his interview had to have been the BEST question I've ever heard about in a teaching interview. It went a little something like this[keep in mind this isn't a direct quote because Ciaran's not home yet to get the exact one from him...don't want to bother him while he's driving after all]...OK, here it is:
"Well, this will be the last question for today (insert pause here), and I have to know...what did you think of the Champions League semi-final yesterday?"Hahahaha, that's right, I'm sorry, not to rub salt in an open wound to all you Liverpool fans out there, but come on, this is too priceless!!! Oh and I'm actually serious, the last question in Ciaran's interview today was exactly that. I guess the principal is a huge Liverpool fan and is pretty upset about why Rafa didn't put in certain players and why Torres was pulled out. But that is TOO PRICELESS, any attention drawn to the fact that Chelsea won is perfect for me. OK, I've run out of time to write, so I'll post more later about this wonderful week with Ciaran.
*Oh and sorry for all of the upsetting grammatical errors, I know they are there, I just don't have time to go back and edit. Just look at this post and really all of my other posts as stream of consciousness writing or a simple free write activity. :-) Enjoy your day!
Friday, April 25, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
So my student teaching experience ended on Friday. I received lots of hugs and presents and the kids had created (with the help of the art department's student teacher) a banner for me and a bunch of the kids signed it and wrote little notes to me...so sweet! It was a memorable day and I managed to not cry too much. Then Saturday came. As I graded the kids papers, I found myself choking up at the oddest moments. About two hours into grading, and my sadness was reaching its peak, there was a knock at the door. I went to the door and there waiting for me was a flower delivery...a dozen pale pink roses to be exact...my absolute favorite flowers!!! Ciaran had so sweetly anticipated my Saturday let-down after student teaching ended and sent them to cheer me up. Ah Ciaran, you never cease to amaze me! The weekend wore on (more pleasantly with the beautiful roses to gaze at) and after roughly nine hours of grading my student's projects, papers, etc. , and entering grades into the system...my student teaching officially ended. I was feeling a little sad still and now had some rather annoying lower back pain to accompany my sadness, but other than that, I was ready for a new week and whatever that may bring.
And then Monday arrives...and with that some more rather intense pain...pain that made me drop to my knees crying! That's right...you know that rather annoying lower back pain I experienced all weekend??! That wasn't the result of being hunched over all weekend grading papers, it was actually the start of none other than...KIDNEY STONES! That's right, my mortal enemy, the dreaded of the dreaded, kidney stones. So with lots of prayer and lots of pain meds and a whole lot of water I managed (by God's grace) to pass this morning a kidney stone without going to the hospital for an IV! Woohoo!!! Praise God! I'm still pretty worn out from it, but hopefully that was the only stone and I will be getting back to my normal self soon! All right, that concludes my update for the evening. I hope everyone is having a great week! I sure am...now that the wretched little stone is out of me. :-)
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Oh and in other news, we found the owner of the stray dog I mentioned in my last post! He lives on another road not far from our house and is now safely returned to his owner. :-)
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Because of this site, I now see the value in "getting dressed to my shoes" first thing in the morning (this only applies for me on non-work days...I hold off getting into high heels until I am exiting the house), shining my sink at the end of my day, working through overwhelming areas of my house in 15-minute intervals, decluttering in a systematic way, and a whole host of other things. Plus, when you sign up for their e-mail updates, they send all of these interesting ideas and helpful tips/motivations for keeping your house in working order. They also give advice on all areas of domesticity, not just cleaning. I'm thoroughly enjoying this little web-service and best of all...it's free!
Monday, March 31, 2008
As for my lessons today, I had some technical difficulties with laptops and our ActivBoard so I had to postpone one of my scheduled lesson plans and pull my lesson plan that I was going to do on Thursday to today. Another lesson I am continually being reminded of each and every week: teachers need to be flexible, especially when integrating technology into our teaching. I was a bit frustrated because I had been so excited about this particular lesson. I had this fun PowerPoint created, complete with music to accompany writing prompts, and I was going to do this whole dramatic reading of a Chinese fairy tale. I even had created a background soundtrack of sorts with traditional Chinese instrumentals to make the reading more fun for the students to listen to. Then we were going to conclude the lesson by munching on fortune cookies (which I bought yesterday at Gordon's) as we completed the writing prompt for the day. Oh well, hopefully tomorrow will be better and I'll be able to teach what I had planned.
So as you can probably tell, I'm back into the swing of things now. Spring break is over and it's time to dig in and finish these last two weeks of student teaching. So with that, I'll end here. Time to get back to my work! Enjoy your night!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
In other news, I've been thinking about how my time student teaching is drawing to a close...I only have two weeks left and this amazing experience teaching inner-city will be over. Goodness the time has flown. I was standing in front of my classroom last week (teaching at the time, mind you) and I almost got choked up as I realized how much God has grown me this semester, both as a child of God and as a teacher. I still have so much to learn and so many areas I need to grow, but I can clearly see God's fingerprints all over this entire semester. And my students, oh I am going to miss them so much. They have challenged me beyond anything I thought was possible, but oh do I treasure them! I am currently in the process of putting together little gifts for each of them. With somewhere around 130 students, this is proving to be a challenging task, but well worth it all the same. And I'm also trying to put into words (i.e. little notes) my thanks to all of the teachers who have so profoundly impacted me this semester. I will forever stand in awe of these amazing teachers who give of themselves so unselfishly and so tirelessly each and every day at this school. The battles they face on a daily basis are so different and far more CHALLENGING than anything I ever anticipated a teacher would have to face and yet they meet these battles head-on and with such amazing attitudes. And through it all, so many of them still have such a passion for their profession and a hunger to keep growing as teachers and professionals in their respective fields. I have been truly blessed to study under them this semester!
Well it's getting late and 5:15am is going to come quickly tomorrow. That's right, I'm getting back into my teaching schedule starting tomorrow. I have thoroughly enjoyed my spring break, but it's time to start getting back into my normal routine again. Goodnight!
*I bought this lovely little desk at cbd.com. Click on the picture if you want to see more details. :-)
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
When I survey the wondrous crossFrom Isaac Watts' hymn "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross"
On which the Prince of glory died
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast
Save in the cross of Christ my God
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to his blood.
Saturday, March 01, 2008
Today marked the first Saturday morning of my student teaching in which I graded papers without the joy of watching soccer at the same time. That’s right, we no longer have Fox Soccer Channel at our house. :-( At the beginning of the year, my mom and I revamped our budget and alas, FSC was one of the little “extras” I had enjoyed that needed to go. Yet, it took until the end of February to finally make this much needed cut. How sad it is that I cling to worldly things with such a vice-like grip.
In other news, student teaching is still going well, but has gotten progressively more difficult with each passing day. My students have “cabin fever” because of the long, hard winter which makes classroom management a moment-by-moment (exhausting) battle. Last week the students were so off the hook when I was teaching them about figurative language that I finally just shouted, “Everyone stand up!” I then proceeded to label three corners of my classroom , “Simile,” “Metaphor,” and “Idiom.” Then I read the sentence containing the use of figurative language and had the students move to the corner they thought was the right answer. It was such a simple activity (an adaptation of a teaching strategy called 4 Corners), but you would have thought I’d just awarded my students a million dollars. One of my especially challenging students asked me the next day if we could practice identifying figurative language again. They were so excited to be out of the seats and competing against one another and as an added bonus, by the end of class, I think about eighty percent of them fully understood what a simile, metaphor, and idiom is. I’ll still have to do a considerable amount of follow-up work to get the other twenty percent. But that activity was so not a part of the original lesson plan that I had spent over an hour planning the previous weekend. We also finally finished reading the novel Hatchet by Gary Paulsen in three of my ELA classes. It’s taken us two months to wade through this novel (after snow days and standardized test interruptions). To celebrate the conclusion of the novel and review for the test, I created a Jeopardy review game last weekend using PowerPoint (complete with the fun Jeopardy music) and then went to Staples and bought three desktop call bells (to use for buzzers). Then on Wednesday we spent the hour playing the game (i.e. reviewing for the test). The kids loved it and what was even more exciting; they turned around and collectively did quite well on their unit test. And I had at least two dozen of the students ask me on Friday if we could play Jeopardy again to review for our next unit test. Yay, my students interested and excited about reviewing for a test! What more could I ask for?!
All right, enough about teaching. Carter’s home this weekend! He’s been working so many weekend hours at Detroit Metro the past few months that I feel as if I haven’t seen him in years! :-) So off I go to enjoy him being home. Enjoy your Saturday!
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
It has been such a long time since I last wrote so I know full well this post is long overdue. My semester of student teaching inner-city at an “at risk” school is commandeering almost all of my time at present. I can’t go into details, nor can I share some incredibly fun pictures of my students, but I can share that this is probably the single most challenging experience of my life and simultaneously one of the more enjoyable experiences as well. It is challenging because I am stretched daily, or rather moment by moment, so far out of my comfort zone where I can do nothing but look Godward and trust Him to work through me to serve this school and more importantly, these children that God has placed before me. Some days I am heartbroken by the sadness before me, frustrated by injustice, my own ignorance and inability and a whole host of other things. Yet other days, I want to dance and sing at the top of my lungs as I revel in the joy of teaching in an environment where you are needed so much. It kills me not to be able to go into details, so I’m going to cut this post short. Oh yes, one more thing...the song I have shared below is from the CD Valley of Vision by Sovereign Grace Music. Shannon Harris sings this song on the CD and every time I listen to it, I am almost moved to tears because this PERFECTLY describes this semester. Enjoy!
“In the Valley”
Bob Kauflin 2006
Sovereign Grace Praise
When You lead me to the valley of vision
I can see You in the heights
And though my humbling wouldn’t be my decision
It’s here Your glory shines so bright
So let me learn that the cross precedes the crown
To be low is to be high
That the valley’s where You make me
more like Christ
Let me find Your grace in the valley
Let me find Your life in my death
Let me find Your joy in my sorrow
Your wealth in my need
That You’re near with every breath
In the valley
In the daytime there are stars in the heavens
But they only shine at night
And the deeper that I go into darkness
The more I see their radiant light
So let me learn that my losses are my gain
To be broken is to heal
That the valley’s where Your power is revealed
Let me find Your grace in the valley
Let me find Your life in my death
Let me find Your joy in my sorrow
Your wealth in my need
That You’re near with every breath
In the valley