Monthly Archives: February 2012

beautiful exchange

I just used an iTunes gift card from Christmas to buy a much anticipated Hillsong album. It’s not that new (2010…Beautiful Exchange), but it’s grand. Love Like Fire, Forever Reign, Our God is Love (among others). I am singing a lot.

This weekend promises to be one of many reunions and socializing. I like those weekends. The timing is pretty excellent, too, as I might be tempted to wallow in self-ness otherwise. Yes. Self-ness. The mentality I adopt when I stubbornly neglect to recall all the ways that my life is blessed by people and circumstances that God has orchestrated. Perhaps you’ve experienced it, too. Winter (and perhaps even Valentine’s Day) has its way of amplifying its effects.

BUT, I do want to share with you some encouragement that I read in a newsletter/email from boundless (Focus on the Family’s young adult ministry) today. Lisa, one of the staffers, challenged readers to intentionally encourage and affirm people during the month. What an easy gift to give, but let’s be honest, affirmation goes a LONG way in this house. I mean, if someone tells me that my sugar cookies are the bomb, I know they are not only telling the truth, they are affirming my recipe selection and cookie baking skillz. Ha, that was a conceited example. But it’s true that affirmation goes a long way; a small compliment of my writing at work literally lightened my steps for the rest of the day a few weeks ago. Even outward-appearance compliments bring a smile when they are genuine. I get a lot of these compliments, being that I work with kids who like to outdo one another…I’ve written posts about this before (I like your hair, I like your shirt, I like your smile, I like your shoes, I like everything about you)…I have a bit of a filter. But it still can go a long way.

Should you be the recipient of some encouragement, take heart–you are not just a box-to-check :). This is a practice that I have been pretty adamant about in the past few years, but the reminder was timely because I wasn’t really actively doing that and I wasn’t sure how else to treat the Tuesday of next week…didn’t really have the inspiration to make cards (though how fun would that be) or the desire to buy them and send them out.

Today my tumultuous stomach was at peace. It was a huge blessing. I was very productive this morning and had a very nice teaching day, though full. I might have shot my voice for the night (or was that my Hillsong singfest?).

Scootin’ outta here. My half birthday is NEXT WEEK. Where did the last six months go? Peace to you!


Green is the color of sick days. Today was one. I’ve got some kind of stomach upset…pain all day (last night, too). I went to school and turned around within the hour and went home.

Green is also the color of the smoothies I made after dinner. I figured nothing had come up all day, so I was probably ok to eat (perhaps my logic is off), and have been collecting the ingredients for such a “health food” all week. In the smoothies went spinach (green) that you can’t taste, bananas, strawberries, vanilla yogurt, a little milk (it was getting stuck), a little honey (the banana and strawberries were on the less-ripe side, so not very sweet), and some lime juice to bring it home. It was very thick, pretty rich, and perhaps not what the doctor ordered…but I rationalize it as “liquid” :).

I’m going to read now. Got a lot of knitting done today (the gusset is being shaped!), but haven’t got much more knitting in me for the day. We’ll see. I’ve got a movie to put in (Steel Magnolias, borrowed from a friend because I’ve never seen it). Peace!

remember that stink eye?

I just paid a co-pay and a prescription fee to find out that it’s irritated. I’m trying some antibiotic drops in case there’s infection, but my doctor didn’t think that was a sure fix. I did learn a new way to administer eye drops today (first at school and then the directions in the prescription bag)…and decided to practice with Visine first. It didn’t clear up my eye immediately (whew, didn’t cry wolf!), but the drop seemed to do something. I’ll give the other drops a shot starting tonight.

Practicing piano is difficult as an adult with high musical expectations. I mean, if I go over something long enough it should be easy…that’s how clarinet worked, that is how most things work…but I am clearly not dedicating enough time to these accompaniments I need to “perform” a week from tomorrow. EEEK. Do you have a piano that I could play this weekend? I suppose I could go to school and play, but seriously…not as much fun as you would think. The e-flat on the treble clef space (so an octave and a minor third above middle c) sticks like duct tape and is not very yielding to the gentlest of touches. Besides that, the songs I picked are boring to the max now that I’ve played them over and over (hands alone, mostly, with a little both-hands action to break up the monotony).

Today I wore a sweater vest I’m not sure about. I bought it thinking I could base a pattern off of it (it’s a tad on the small side) and have hardly worn it. Two people complimented it right off the bat, one of them asking if I’d made it myself. This means that it’s worth wearing again (or that it’s the first time I’ve worn something out of the ordinary and it caught their attention). Regardless, the part of my school clothes I enjoyed most, as with most days, is my Wide Leg Trousers from Gap. I got them on sale and they fit better than any dress pants have ever fit me. I hope I can find some more of them in new colors next time I make a trip to a mall…of course, even if not new colors, I might line up some replacements, as these are getting quite a workout.

Too personal today? Perhaps. My apologies.

On the menu tomorrow: lasagna or tacos. I even bought Italian Sausage and ground beef. It’s going to be great! 🙂

Have a great night!

bucket list

A conversation at Perkins last night, er…this morning, if you want to be precise…involved describing a bucket list for a group of people. Conquering firsts and never-before-tried corporately. That gets me to thinking what I’d like to do for the first time (not necessarily the last time, either…like sky diving or traveling somewhere remote). How neat would it be to tackle some of those with a group of friends! Particularly on the list was dancing lessons, a restaurant in Des Moines, and Paintball. I am not part of that group (it was a guy list…you will likely not see me paintballing ever…but who knows), but totally attainable, not far from everyday possible.

Last year held many firsts for me, and I hope to drum up some more for 2012. I should probably finish my first pair of socks for the year. If only they were more exciting than purple. 🙂

Time to bake cookies for a super bowl party. Try something new!!

Cowabunga [dude]

I had a really full, really good teaching day. One that leaves me short of breath and with a classroom that looks like it may have weathered a tornado, but a good day. In fact, on my WALK HOME (because it’s balmy at 60 degrees here) I mused that I would like to stick with these students next year if at all possible. Would I jump at full time? Yeeeah…but how sweet would full time at my school be? Sweetness. Of course, I should be careful to emphasize that I am not grumbling about 80% time because it has been plenty and allows some flexibility. I just happen to understand my working capacity is greatest in the morning. Perhaps God has given me the mornings of this year and last year to prepare myself for full time. Maybe He has the same in store for next year.

I am a knitting slacker. It might be the balmy weather. It might be the purple socks of death extreme boredom that are killing the desire, but whatever it is, I need to hop to. We’ve got birthdays and valentines to knit for, you know? 🙂

I uphold that my favorite elementary school teacher holiday to celebrate is Valentine’s Day, even though I don’t get to check out any of the sweet parties going on that day.It’ll be a day 6 on our cycle (unless we get a snowday! Then it’d be an awesome day 5 and I could go to all the parties!!). I should make musical valentines for my students. AWWW. I could use song lyrics as one-liners. Hmm. 300 valentines…! Maybe not. Anyway, I introduced a Valentine’s song to kdg today and a little folksong about letters to first grade a couple days ago (Ida Red) and used the heart-beat and popsicle stick kits I made with first grade (aww…hearts for Valentine’s day!). My kids are so smart :).

And…Cut the Cake. This song is seriously the bomb with little kids. I was told to use it to teach Fa, but it is so much better for little ones. They were thrilled to “race” around the circle, meet in the middle to say “Good Morning, Good Evening, Good night!” and race back to give me a high five. The whole class was, in fact.

I made a giant yarn ball pom-pom thing for my room…and it was a miserable failure compared to the splendor of the for-sale versions at my workshop this weekend. Take two begins this weekend if I make it out to get yarn. I made the strands too long so it was too thin and had to be cut. You use a whole pound of yarn, you see. Cutting it to shape was a bit like cutting hair, which is something I have longed to know how to do for some time. I won’t go as far as enrolling in beauty school (don’t have time or much inclination for the whole process), but I would love to learn how to cut hair besides online tutorials that may or may not be credible. Anyway, the kiddos liked the yarn ball today. I was a little worried for the integrity of the strings tying the whole lump together at a few points…so I might have to reinforce again.

I think I’m off to Pinterest to look for classroom decorating ideas for the month. I have some bulletin boards that are killing me softly with their monotonous simplicity. In fact, I have one board that has been blank for almost the whole year. YIKES. Luckily it’s in a pretty bad spot in the room (tucked in an area by a shelf), so it’s not depriving many students from subconscious learning.