Friday, May 28, 2010

The One Where I Catch Up

Chiming in at the end of the coffee day- but in my book, it's always time for coffee. (Although, right now, I'm actually drinking a nice cold white grape peach and seltzer combo. Delicious and super refreshing!

Anyway, this will be the post where I catch up - it's been a few weeks at least since I've joined you. The end of the school year is always busy, but this one has seemed to be particularly so, making it hard to find time to catch my breath (or blog).

First, do you remember this post, where I told you how Husband and I were going to start a facelift on our kitchen? Or this one, where I showed you some of our progress? (Click on the post to read more about it and see more pictures.)
Or do you recall when the sink leaked under the floor and our kitchen remodel went to a new level, leaving us without a kitchen for over a month? And when the cabinets were in the living room, living us with no space anywhere?

Well, we're nearly done! We've got cabinets, countertops (new! so pretty!), a gorgeous sink, and wood-like floors! All that's left are the details- toe kicks, a few more pulls, etc. Yeay. We added a little extra counter and got a couple bar stools..... I'm in heaven, truly.
Oh, I just looked at the clock, and I really wanted to share a beautiful Psalm I read this morning and how inspired it was, but I have to go get a loaf of yummy crusty bread and take it to my sassy friend Carly's house for a girls' night in dinner. If you feel curious, check back in with me tomorrow and I'll tell you about this inspiring Psalm.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

An Aside

There's something to be said for your house being in order and your mental sanity. Despite pure busyness, the fact that my house is starting to be put back is making me feel a little like I'm already on vacation, even though I'm not.

There's something to be said for leaving your house during daylight hours in the morning and your mental sanity. You can see the leaves budding and blooming on the trees when you drive by, making it again, almost feel like summer vacation, even though it's not.

And there's something to be said for the huge stack of final exams and projects piling up on my desk today (and the next few days), because although I have to grade them first, summer is, in fact, just around the corner.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Every other Friday night, Husband and I get together with some of the coolest people from our church to have small group.

It's been interesting for me- I have had issues about whether or not I actualy feel connected and if I truly have a place to belong. I've often felt cared about, but still felt as if something were missing. Most likely it was me being issue-full, but it's how I felt.

The last few months, though, things have started to change, and I've either begun to get over myself or the group dynamic has changed.... or most likely, a bit of both. We've finished telling our personal stories and have now moved into a time of sharing what God is doing in our lives.

This past Friday my beautiful and sassy and hilarious and insanely deep friend Carly got us all thinking about how we receive God. We had this visual of God throwing footballs at us and us being totally non-receptive and the footballs just bouncing off of us, whether it be because we weren't looking or we had a "shield" of pride or insecurity or who knows what. And we got into talking about what "posture" we need to have to really receive God. Our task is to come back in two weeks and hopefully have thought about what that personally means for us.

How do I, then, receive God? What are the reasons I'm not catching the footballs? What would my "posture" of receiving look like?

I don't know quite yet, but I'll be thinking about it.

That same night, my friend Dawn and I were talking about the b-word. You know, busy. It's kind of a ridiculous word, because we're always busy.... but right now, it's like we're super ultra crazy busy. She even wrote a post about it, which you can read here.

I've been thinking about the b-word and the receiving-word in conjunction with each other. Let's face facts. I'm always busy. Some times I'm beyond busy and can barely sleep, let alone blog (like the last two weeks), but most of the time, I'm just regular busy, and I blog when I'm procrastinating from doing something else I should be doing. My life is go-g0-g0, and I don't think it's going to change any time soon- I'm just a busy person. I may never be a woman able to find several hours at one time to sit and listen to God.... but that doesn't mean I can't be in a posture to receive him.

In fact, it means that it is imperative that, whatever it looks like, I do take time to be receiving. The only way to have any purpose in my life, in the midst of the busyness, is to receive.

Still working on what this looks like, but know I'm on the right track.

Monday, May 10, 2010

10 Things on the 10th

Thought this was so fun that I couldn't pass up the opportunity to join in! Blogging with Meredith and others over at Life at 7000 Feet to share 10 things I'm diving into right now.

1. End of the year lesson plans. Our seniors get out this week, but our underclassmen have an uncharacteristic 2 weeks beyond that, so I'm writing rubrics for a new, super-cool, fun, and real-life assessment project to take the place of our normal written final exam. The planning is the hardest part- the projects will be so fun!

2. Working on things for LIFE 2010. LIFE is a big youth conference our denomination puts on every three years. My job is to serve as teh VIP Coordinator- I'm organizing all the bands and speakers' itineraries now and will just hang out with them and do hospitality in July.

3. Trying to eat healthy without a kitchen. Got to the point where I had had too much Taco Bell and needed to cut it out- it's hard to plan healthy meals when we're kitchenless, but I'm sure as heck trying! I just feel better when I'm not full of grease. I know, weird, right?

4. A Puzzle. Husband and I had some time to ourselves last night and didn't want to just watch a movie, so we pulled out a 1000 piece Coca Cola puzzle we got for Christmas and started it (while watching a movie of course). We got the edges all the way done and started on the middle. Good times!

5. Dreaming. Does that count as something I'm diving into? Because I really am diving into dreaming- I'm dreaming about what my house will be like when everything is put back together- I'm dreaming about getting to re-organize things just to put it back together- I'm dreaming of new countertops- I'm dreaming about gardening and plants and flowers and beauty. Someday soon, I hope!

6. Psalm-reading. I had originally intended to read a Psalm a day, but life has been life and I'm not quite at that pace- but it's been really great. God always has something say in the Psalms, you know? I'm finding it life-breathing.

7. Chocolate-covered raisins. I've recently rediscovered that I love chocolate-covered raisins. They're delicious. Ordinarily I hate raisins- at least, I hate them when they're in anything else, but mmmm they're yummy when covered in chocolate.

8. Pandora Radio. I know it's been around for a while, but seriously, it's my new favorite music source. I put in a song or artist I like and then have a whole playlist of music that perfectly fits my mood. If you haven't tried it yet, do it.

9. Exercise. This is towards the bottom of my list- I'm not exactly diving in, but I'm really trying to get back into a semi-regular routine. I love a good run and, since I have an un-natural fear of being the jiggly-arm teacher, lifting weights is a beautiful thing.

10. Being outside. I'm taking every opportunity I can get to be outside- hard to do when daylight hours mostly occur during the school day and when the weatherman predicts snow for the middle of May- but I am trying. I love the sun. Now don't get me wrong, I am a burn-in-two-seconds kind of a girl, so sunscreen it is, but the sunshine just makes me happy.

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Tea Day

Hello, Compnay Girls. That's right. I am having a Tea Day. Me, the Queen of Coffee. In fact, I've had tea three days in a row. Peppermint tea, to be specific. It's delicious. I've always liked tea, it's just that I love coffee. But with the kitchen being a non-existent, making coffee is more of a challenge, I'm kind of sick of Starbucks (unbelievable, I know), and to top it off, I have a cold. So tea it is, and truthfully, I'm enjoying it quite a bit. Peppermint tea is refreshing, rejunvenating, and just plain yummy.

We're in a busy season right now, but most of the time, I think it's a good season. The key is to find balance. Last night I spent a little while putting together the basement. Thus far, that's the only part of our house that has been fixed (the drywallers and painters came last week), so I decided to make it a little haven in our house until the rest gets fixed. I vacuumed, dusted the flat surfaces, washed and dried and put the slip covers back on the futon on chair, and rearranged the furniture. Then I got to work on grading. It felt good to something for our house and to have a space that is uncluttered and organized, and then I was able to sit down, focus, and get a good chunk of work done. Like I said, balance.

This morning I was driving to work and heard part of a song (I think it was by Relient K) that resonated with me.

"I've got to get out of here. I don't want to be complacent anymore. I've got to get out of here. Will you be my escape?"

And I thought, you know, I'm not usually a complacent person. But when I'm this busy, it's all about keeping my head above water and I can easily lose my focus. Then, just to be sure I was really understanding the word complacency, I looked it up in the dictionary:

Complaceny (n): Self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers of deficiencies.

Yup, I can become that way. Not necessarily full of self-satisfication, but full of self-sufficiency, unaware that actually, I can do nothing on my own and that because I'm busy and "self-sufficent," I'm slowly drifting away from the One who is there for me and whose strength and plan are perfect.

Today I'm thankful for the reminder that although busyness has set in full force and I'm a circus performer spinning dozens of dishes on long poles, taking a few moments to spend time with the One can keep me from not only from being complacent, but also can keep me going on the the path He has set.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Full Plate

Linking up with Emily and others over at Chatting at the Sky.

No, this post isn't really discussing the benefits of a fruit in your diet. Nor does it delve into the discussion often heard regarding the American over-eating tradition. Sadly, I won't be sharing any scrumptious recipes or my favorite ways to prepare food.

I simply wanted to say that I have a full plate right now. (Figuratively, of course.)

A woman at church asked me the other day if school was winding down for the semester. I giggled.

Winding down? laugh snort!

High school revs up to the craziest and fastest it's been all year and then screeches to a halt the last day leaving all in a heap on the ground hoping that they will be able to get back up before the next school year begins. Its go go go do this be there organize that grade this are your students prepared can you come to my graduation party what can I do to get my grade up finals are coming did you get them graded yet. (Lack of punctuation is intentional- I think it demonstrates how breathless this time of year leaves me.)

And, despite the chaos, I love it.

I love all the end of the year activities going on and the chance to honor and recognize students for their hard work.

I love seeing kids shine as they get prepared for summer.

I love getting my grading actually done and knowing that there will be no more for at least two months.

It's a full time, but it's a good time.

And that is the gift I choose to unwrap today.

P.S. Want an idea of my schedule? Let me just share a little- yes, I realize, this comes across as whining, but it's not.... I do love it. I just have to keep my head above water! Tomorrow night we have our Student Council Induction- about 100 parents, siblings, students eating dinner, honoring the present StuCo and swearing in the new group. Organizing this has taken me many hours, and I'm still going- I've been getting kids from past years (going back to 2006) to send me letters to honor my co-sponsor, who is leaving our school- so we want to send him off well, too. Next week gets crazier. Tuesday is Senior Awards night (usually at least 3 hours long). Wendesday is a Senior Sunset/yearbook signing event. Friday we host a dance for the incoming freshmen. Saturday is our day long End of Year Retreat where we say goodbye to this Council. The week after that we have our Senior Finals and then an assembly symbolically kicking them out and everyone moving up a class. We have graduation. We have to prepare for finals for underclassmen and then give them. We have to get all our grades done and rooms ready for summer. And between now and then, I'm still supposed to be teaching and working on some stuff for abig conference I'm working at this summer. Told you, it's a full plate!

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