Friday, February 26, 2010

Thoughts on my Mind with No Time to Write

Wishing I was really joining up for Coffee Company today, but I'll just be straight forward. I'm blogging to tell you I can't blog today. (Is that a bit ridiculous or what?)

Regardless, I have lots of thoughts I'm wanting to blog about, including things like identity, names and labels, purpose, etc..... but today, I simply can't. Maybe you can stop back another time somtime Sunday to see if I've gotten a chance to breathe and blog?

(And, if you're wondering why I'm skipping out this morning, here's why. You know I'm a Student Council Advisor at my school. In the fall, we do Homecoming. In the "spring," we do Sadie's. This week is Sadie's week, which means we have spirit days, evening activities, a big assembly, and a big dance. I've worn PJs to school, all pink, brought a stuffed animal. Last night we were here till about 10:30 having an event called Peach Fuzz (boys volleyball) and then setting up for the big assembly. This morning our 1500 students will go to the gym and enter "a Wild Wild Nest Show" (we're the Eagles), an assembly with singing, dancing, entertainment, recognition. Tonight I'll be here from 5 - 9 at Mr. PC, where 10 boys will be answering interview questions, wearing formal wear, swimwear, a costume, and performing a talent. I'll be back at 8 am until around 1 or 2 to set up for the big dance, and then back from 8 - midnight for the dance itself and clean up.)

Hopefully, I'll get to visit some of you on Sunday or Monday, and since my head is full of thoughts to blog, I'll try to write them soon, too. Feel free to visit me in a few days to see what I'm thinking!

Happy Friday!

Oh and P.S. The morning I needed to be out the door at 6 am (today), my car wouldn't start, and Husband was already on the road to work with his boss in the car.... so my dad had to come get me and bring me to work. Love the flexible dad who still drives his 27 year old daughter to work. :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Well, it's official. I'm on Twitter.

I don't have a clue what I'm doing, but I joined. My sister gave me a look. You know, a LOOK. When she found out I had gotten an account.

The real reason I joined? I stumbled on a blog about a sweet little girl named Layla Grace who's been sick with yucky cancer for a while and isn't doing well. God put such a burden for her and her family on my heart that I wanted to be able to keep up with what was going on as much as possible, so I joined Twitter so I could follow their tweets. (Just in case you're interested, Layla's sisters came to say goodbye today- we're praying for God to bring her comfort and healing one way or another soon.)

I have no idea how Twitter really works, nor if anyone would even bother following me (just as I wonder if I'll ever have more than 9 blog follwers, lol), but I'm kind of excited to be able to follow others once in a while.

Do you have a Twitter? Do you follow anyone worth my checking out? :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Typical Night In

On a typical school night, you'll find me sitting here, on the floor of our living room, with the TV on for background noise, the computer open to the online gradebook, and papers to grade in front of me. Lately Husband has been gone most nights I'm home, so I've been doing decently at working while he's gone to try to maximez the rest of our time together.

I'm thankful I have a home to sit in as I do my work. My hand-me-down furniture is comfortable and meets my needs just fine. (See that table in the background? It used to be yucky and faded, but Husband re-stained it and now it's bea-u-tiful.)

I'm thankful for TV Husband and I saved up for. It isn't the biggest TV out there and we don't have tevo or dvr or anything, but I am able to sit and watch almost anything I want while I grade. On the TV tonight- Figure Skating (but of course the pictures shows the commentators and not the skating).

I'm thankful for the grading I have in front of me, because it means I have a job. And the papers in front of me are more than papers; they represent my students, whom I love working with, even though sometimes they're pains.

It would be easy to be grumbly about how I have work to do or how Husband isn't home or how our things are all old, but it's much more fun to find the good in those things, don't you think?

Just started a study on Ruth with a girl I'm "discipling." First major thing I've gotten from it:

We can trust God's provision even when times are tough and money is tight.

Amen to that!

Hoping you're finding ways to make turn the grumblies into happies today!

Linking up with Emily and other Bloggy Friends over at Chatting at the Sky for Tuesdays Unwrapped.

P.S. Will you join me and others in praying for little Layla Grace today? The thing about her mom's post today that struck me most is that she writes, "I’ve spent all this time praying for her to be healed. AND SHE WILL BE. It just might not be in the way I want. Within a few short days, one way or another, Layla will be healed and absolutely perfect." Pray with me.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Catching up on a Friday

Hello, Company Girls. Today is a good day for company, don't you think?

Sometimes I think it would be easy to get sucked into wishing that I had as many real-life company girls as we do coffee company girls, but since I'm on a positivity kick, I realize I want to be thankful for both my real-life company girls, though they be few in number (but big in heart) and you all, my other Company girls. Love it.

Anyway, last week I wasn't feeling very bloggy. I was in a funk. Fortunately, having a day off on Monday (a perk of being a teacher) was just the ticket and I was inspired by how awesome new days are and how much I love them.

This week, as a result of the positivity and the new day attitude, then, has been pretty good. Life is busy, as usual, but it's good.
Since I was in a funk and didn't chat with you all last week, let me just catch you up on the week.

Some of you have been following my kitchen remodelling progress. We haven't made too much more recently, because Husband has been working full days (despite the mess in the kitchen, it's a beautiful thing for him to have full time work). Still, he's slowly but surely getting cabinets painted and hardware put on. Perhaps this weekend he'll finish that and I'll get to do a thorough cleaning before we start tearing up the floor.

I made ice cream cone cupcakes for the first time in my life. They were pretty delicious, even though they were still a little gooey despite my over-baking them. My Seminar LOVED them.
I just looked up and out the window and it's snowing. I live in a state known for snowfall, but yet we've been just having flurries and no accumulation while others of you have been seeing unusual snow piled high. I've been jealous for snow, so while I'm sure it won't stick, it still brought a little leap of joy into my heart.
I've been having really good quiet times this week. I am doing a Bible study on Ruth with a high school student from church and then have been prayer journaling and just spending time reading the Message and praying through what I read. It's amazing how God always meets you when you seek Him.

Lastly, as I was going through the grocery store this afternoon to get some Risotto (I made crispy oven chicken, parmesan risotto, and green beans with almonds for dinner), I saw something that made me smile instantly. Just like I wait for Gingerbread Lattes in the fall, I wait for these little treats in the Easter candy aisle. You better believe I bought a bag. In fact, I bought two.
I'm looking forward to this weekend, too, because first, I'm going to spend tonight hanging out with Husband, who has not been home one night this week before I was already in bed (he had youth group Sunday night, work Monday night, guys meeting Tuesday night, class Wednesday night, and worship team Thursday night). I don't know what we'll be doing- perhaps watching a movie, but it will be wonderful just to be together. Saturday I'll do some things I need to get done, and then I'll most likely be going out with some women from my small group for a Ladie's Night Out. Hopefully it will be just what I need to feel more connected. And Sunday will be a family dinner with my parents, sister, and 94 year old grandpa.

I love the weekend.

Oh, and one last thought. The other night I was reading a Psalm (100) in the Message version, and this short chapter jumped out at me.

On your feet now- Applaud God
Bring a gift of laughter,
Sing yourselves into his presence.

Know this: God is God, and God, GOD.
He made us, we didn't make him.
We're his people, his well-tended sheep.

Enter with the password "thank you!"
Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
Thank him. Worship him.

For God is sheer beauty,
all generous in love,
Loyal always and ever.

I think what struck me the most (among lots of other things I like in this Psalm) is that we're to make ourselves at home, talking praise. To me, that means that praising God should be as natural as putting your feet up on the coffee table and chatting with your best friend. I'm digging that thought.

Anyway, here's to the weekend!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Yummy Goodness

I'm not a sweet person. (insert laugh here) What I mean is, I never have really liked sweet food- I'll go for the salty food any day - give me a bag of pretzels or popcorn and I'll be happy. (Although chocolate covered pretzels are most likely one of the yummiest foods ever invented. Can you say perfect combination of sweet and salty? Mmmmmm I want some, please.)

Baking-wise, I have always been the queen of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, but since I don't really like sweet things, I never made cakes or cupcakes or brownies or anything else very often. However, this last year I've embarked on many new baking adventures. Sometimes I baked for Husband, like the time I made an apple pie. Sometimes I baked for my small group, like the time I made cupcakes, which turned out to be a little dry since I'd never tried them before. My seminar, however, is the the reason I have really started baking more.

Seminar is like homeroom at our school, except for it's like homeroom on steroids. I see the same group of kids every day for all four years of their high school careers. We have different grades in seminar, so kids interact with peers from all groups, and they're not always just with their best buddies. We play games and talk and do logistical stuff like pre-registration, but mostly, we just hang out together. And once a week or so, we eat.

I used to buy donuts every week, or get the kids to donate money towards the cost, but this year I've been trying to make homemade treats for them, since it's a little less expensive. I made a chocolate bundt cake that, by all accounts was yummy. I've made brownies a couple times; no small feat since I think my oven doesn't work properly.

And tonight I'm trying a new adventure of yummy goodness (or at least, I hope it's yummy goodness): the ice cream cone cupcake. I chose Funfetti cake with chocolate Funfetti frosting and am hoping they taste as good as they sound and smell.

I put the cones in the dish, mixed the batter, and filled the cones with the batter.

Now, I'm currently in the baking stage as I write this, and I'm having a hard time with it. Truth be told, the cupcakes have been baking much longer than the recommended time, but they're still very gooey inside, so I keep sticking them back in for longer. I'm a little worried that they're going to end up burned too much on top or dry and yucky, but they're really gooey at this point. So a few more minutes it is.

As you can see, the tops are a bit brown, but finally the goo has settled down a bit. I'm hoping that once frosted, they'll be scrumptious.

Despite my not loving sweets, I'm going to try one and let you know how it is- afterall, I can't take them to Seminar if they're not good! Here's the finished product:

And the verdict is:
Still a tiny bit gooey inside, but overall, they're Yummy Goodness! (I think.)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Loving the New Day Thing

I'm joining up with others over at Chatting At the Sky for Tuesdays Unwrapped today. Pop on over and check out what people are thinking.

Truly, I am. I'm just loving the new day thing. The way God takes every morning and makes it a new one. There's no leftover mornings from yesterday. I mean, sometimes we have to deal with stuff from yesterday, but each morning is in and of itself a new morning. What a beautiful thing.

Last week I was very un-bloggy feeling. I just didn't feel like I had much to share and I was a little bit grumpy off and on for no explicable reason. Instead of being revitalized by hanging out with friends on Friday I was bothered. Sunday service left me wanting to cry - like a real cry, too- but I couldn't have begun to tell you why. Husband and I spent the afternoon on the couch eating grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup while he watched tv and I read a book. That part, although very uninteresting sounding, was restful. And then I woke up to a new Monday morning.

Yesterday gave me a glimpse of what it would be like to not have to have a full time job. We had the day off as teachers, but Husband had to go to work. I had coffee with my mom and then later with a high school friend from the youth group whom I am doing a Bible study with. I cleaned, did laundry, and just felt better about myself. I didn't eat crap, and I went grocery shopping and actually had real food on the table for dinner (nevermind that the table is buried under all the stuff from the kitchen remodeling, so by table I mean bed). I actually did my Bible study. It was beautiful. (Disclaimer- regarding the initial statement about glimpsing the idea of not having a full time job outside the home- I liked it, I did- but I think after a while I'd go a little crazy, but that's good, since not working is not a financial option.)

Anyway, today is another beautiful new day. Because I was productive yesterday, I woke up to the coffee already brewing, a clean bedroom and bathroom, and only had to straighten my hair from last night's shower. Lunch was easy to make because I'd already planned it out as a result of going grocery shopping. And I had a nice chat with God in the car this morning on my morning drive to work.

I don't know why I was in such a funk last week, and particularly this weekend, but I'm rocking the new day feeling, and loving it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Is that even a word?


I think it is.


That's the attitude I'm trying to adopt in all areas of my life.

I went to this awesome teacher inservice with about 20 of my staff members to discuss our faculty's upholding of our "norms" (things like responsibility and community and communication and trust and a positive environment) and came away feeling uplifted and connected and as if our staff has a chance. We concluded that we, at least, would do a few things, like try to handle conflict face to face, to not talk negatively about others, to end all conversations positively, etc. The next day I was faced with what I can only describe as the most intense anger directed at me (almost a palpable hatred) from another faculty member, and because I was so focused on this whole positivity thing, I think I handled it incredibly well.

I then chose to help sponsor this club our school's starting that's based on Rachel's Challenge and is all about bringing kindness and positivity to the school. There were over 100 students at our first meeting committing to upholding these ideals, too.

Then this weekend I went with about 30 StuCo kids on our annual retreat where we looked at both the positive and negative sides of ourselves, StuCo, and our school... and were able to really commit to looking at the positive sides of things and trying to change the negative. Again, a lot of committment to the same idea.

It's a bit late in the day, but today (and tomorrow, and next week, and hopefully the weeks after that), I'm celebrating the gift of positivity.

May you do so also.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Full to Bursting

I am an emotional person. **gasp** I know, it's difficult to believe.

Do you see through my sarcasm? I'm guessing you do, because you probably knew all along that I am, indeed, an emotional person, and there isn't really any surprise there.

When the pastor had my then 93 (now 94) year old granpa surprise me by reading a Bible passage (this was not in the plan!), I couldn't help the tears that just instantly came pouring out.

I feel emotions strongly and always have, although some more than others.

As a little girl, I did mad quite well. I recall being taken out of many a restaurant because I was pitching a temper tantrum - there's one Italian restaurant near some railroad tracks I remember vividly- I don't more than once. I knew the pattern of our kitchen linoleum quite well from the kicking and screaming I did there. Now, at the mature (laugh) age of 27, I cannot remember what would set me off, but I know that mad was something I felt quite strongly.

Now, just in case you were wondering, let me clear something up- I did not have a mad and angry childhood- in fact, I was happy most of the time- it's just that, if I'm going to be honest and talk about how I feel emotions strongly, I have to include the period in my life where anger was quick and powerful.

Fortunately, God worked on my little girl heart, and, with the exception of how my little sister (whom I love pretty much the most in the world) can push my buttons in an instant, it takes quite a lot to make me very angry. When I do get mad, I still feel it strongly, but it's not very often that it happens.

As an adult, it's usually other emotions that tidal wave me. Sometimes loneliness- I'm working on trying to figure out how much of that is me and how much of that is truth. Sometimes sadness- well, when I start to really cry.... let me put it this way. I think I've really only let Husband see the real crying a couple of times. It's pretty messy. Sometimes excitement- it's all I can do to not dance around the room and be crazy. Sometimes silliness- boy, do I burn some serious laughter calories when the silly mood hits. There are others, but if I listed all the emotions I know, this would be a very long post.

There are lots of emotions I feel, and I feel them strongly and deeply.

But one thing I have been realizing I don't feel very often is the emotion of contentment. Some would argue that contentment isn't really an emotion, but a choice. I buy into that, in part. I think I have to choose contentment on a daily basis, and I haven't been. A few years ago (more like 5) I read Linda Dillow's Calm My Anxious Heart and learned more about contentment than I'd ever considered before. I'm thinking maybe I need to re-read it, because every day, the Holy Spirit is showing me how, if I'm going to be honest, I've almost been embracing the emotion, the spirit, of discontent. And I don't want to do that. I don't want to be that person.

Tonight I was sitting on the couch working and watching TV when I realized there was nothing else on that I wanted to watch, and I was at a good stopping point in my work. Suddently inspired, I got up off my rear end, changed into some workout clothes, laced up my gray and pink tennis shoes, and hit the treadmill.

I'm terribly out of shape (the Miss Piggy flu set me back in the fall), but running/walking is one of the most mind-clearing and heart-opening things I can do for myself. Every time I find the willpower to do it, I can't remember why it's been so long since the last time. Whether the road be the path that curves around our area or the beach (where I covet running, but don't get to often since I live in a landlocked state) or the treadmill up in the guest room, God never fails to meet me.
Tonight I put on my favorite running music, Hillsong United, and walked and ran. I didn't go for long, only 20 minutes. Once I finished, I stretched, and, with iPod in, I sang. Sometimes I sang the words of the song, sometimes I sang the words on my heart. It wasn't for very long, but in that time, I once again found myself bursting with emotion.

With contentment.

With joy.

With a sense of peace.

Today I'm unwrapping the gift of a good heart-opening, soul-clearing, body-cleansing run, and the awesome way God never fails to show up when you look for Him.

I can't wait to see what you've found.

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