Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A long day and sad evening...

Tonight when I returned home after a crazy day at work, I was greeted with a beautiful view out the back door of the skyline at sunset. This house gives us such amazing views of sunsets...all year long- it's such a wonderful scene at the end of a long day and something I always look forward to. You can see that as soon as I walked in the door, I lit a ginger peach candle from Pier 1 (as always) poured myself a glass of pino grigio (is it illegal to talk about drinking wine on the Internet? I'm so new to this blog thing) and tried to catch up on emails. My friend Mara called and wondered if I'd heard about Heath Ledger...I said no. She said he died today. I was immediately heartbroken, for his life, for his family and friends. It doesn't matter that I never met him- there's something about movie stars that always intrigues me...I want them to strive for and have normal lives. I want them to raise children in privacy, and most of all, I don't want them to succumb to the same tragedy that so many of them (the rest of the world, too) end up facing- death too young. Now as I say this, I'm also thinking. "what's wrong with me?" Here I am mourning a rich movie star who had everything, when there are so many people in the world dying each day of starvation, neglect, curable and non-curable disease...but then, the movie stars are constantly in front of me on TV, in magazines, on the Internet...maybe that is the problem...but hasn't that always been the problem? The people who really need help aren't shown to us, and so then we end up empathizing with who the media wants us to empathize for- the famous.

At the end of the day, I hurt ANY time I hear of people hurting, dying too young, and being affected by tragedy...today I am sad for Heath Ledger's family, friends...his 2-year old daughter...it's just awful.

On another note, I am so thankful for my new job and seeing the way God works in my life in so many ways. Today, there was a girl from the Ukraine (her first day at school was Friday) who speaks no English. She is the most beautiful little 2nd grader and such a sweet soul. God reminded me today that music IS the universal language....here is this little lady who has no clue what anyone is saying to her all day long, but I'm able to pat out rhythms with her, she's able to do dance steps to music, and able to learn words to the music (she doesn't care that she doesn't know what they mean!)....this little girl brought me so much joy today and taught me that every kid has something to contribute. Now if I can just work on those naughty, inappropriate 1st grade boys who frustrate me to no end- even after being there for only 2 days!

God bless you all...I wonder who reads this? :)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

As days go, it's been a good one...

Today was supposed to be sunny, with no rain. I had a great big to-do list that included all things outdoor- cleaning up the yard, pruning some bushes, washing the cars, sweeping the driveway...well, whaduya know, I was greeted this morning with...rain. My to-do list quickly turned into a rush towards the kitchen to make some freshly ground coffee and homemade cranberry scones. I loved the way the house smelled with the coffee brewing and the scones baking....knowing that Mark would soon wake up to the smell of warm, fresh things downstairs. I remember when I was a kid, loving Saturday mornings...as I lay in bed, deciding whether to get up or sleep in another 4 hours, :) I could hear my parents downstairs, flipping the pages of the newspaper, smelling the coffee they had brewed and sometimes french toast or pancakes- hoping the smell would coax my brother and I out of bed before noon, so they could put us to work with weekend chores. It always worked...I'm sure I'll do the same with my kids.

My dad came up today and he and Mark put the finishing touches on our new garage door openers that we got for Christmas (thanks, mom and dad!). We have a detached 3-car garage and so installing the openers has been no small feat! This was the 2nd Saturday my dad came to help, and by 6pm they finally had the job done. It was so exciting to see them working and looking forward to parking in there again! The coolest (and most essential) part of the installation are the keychain remotes we have. We can stand at our back door and push the remote, opening the garage doors before even stepping out of the house! That, coupled with the remote door locks and lights on my car makes for easy, safe mornings...now if I could just get my car to start with a remote...:)

For dinner, I decided to make some delicious fish tacos. I love fish, but I never thought I'd like fish tacos. When I finally tried them, I realized how fresh, light, and healthy they are...I make them all the time now! I started with some frozen tillapia fillets from Costco- they are so versatile and quick to bake, you should pick some up! Tillapia is a really mild fish, kinda like snapper...so it goes well with many recipes. Then I wrapped them in multi-grain tortillas with some crisp lettuce and some reduced-fat shredded cheese. In one, I slathered on some tarter sauce, and the other some fresh pico de gallo salsa. I topped it off with a dollop of light sour cream, some fresh cilantro, and chunks of yummy avocado. A great end to a productive day. Now we're snuggled on the couch and ready to watch a movie...I love Saturdays.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Yes, this is the exciting news I talked about...

...This will be a short post because I'm exhausted after this day and need to take a nap before cooking up a delicious steak dinner. Yum! So...long story short, I'm beginning on a journey of being a long-term sub for an elementary music position here in town. It came up at just the right time- I love the idea of being in the same school every day and not subbing all the time. This may turn into a contracted position through the end of the year, too, which would be awesome and would bump my pay up to my Masters level. I didn't think I'd be teaching music, and we'll see where this gets me- I would love to be back in Bellevue in the fall, but for now, God has truly blessed me with an incredible opportunity to make the next 6 months a learning experience and to get a head start on that whole "1st year teacher" thing. :) Please pray for me! The kids were pretty crazy today and I have a feeling it's going to take a couple weeks before they know what my expectations are for behavior. Another crazy thing?! The teacher I'm filling in for used to teach band at my high school- what a small world!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Exciting news...

...coming on Friday.

No, I'm NOT pregnant :)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Pity party for one

So, I've only been out of school and subbing for a few weeks, but already I'm feeling discouraged. I've had a couple neat opportunities come up that would be more full-time situations, but as of yet, nothing is firm. Part of my feels like God is trying to teach me something profound through this experience. I'm not a person who loves the unplanned...getting a phonecall the night before and heading off to a new destination every day seems like it might be exciting and a good way to learn what grades I want to teach and what schools I like, but I just LOVE the process of getting to know students, sharing their academic journeys, being a constant for them- with subbing I don't get any of that. I'm a part of these kids' lives for only a day, and where I probably should be thinking how blessed I am to be a part of their lives for one day, I find myself being bitter for not feeling like I have a "home".

I wonder how long God will have me in this place...probably until I accept and become content with it. :) I have been networking, interviewing, dressing to impress all over the town, and I know something good is coming...I think I'm just struggling with God's timing versus my own timing- those two never seem to line up!

Lord Jesus, help me to be patient. I know You have a calling on my life to work with kids. Until I have my own, I know this field is where You want me. I have been trained well and am ready to move forward, but Lord, what is it that You want me to glean from this time of being a substitute teacher? Please make Your vision clear to me as I continue to walk down this path. May my attitude be renewed by the reminder of Your goodness...Your faithfulness. Amen.

Five things I am thankful for today:
1. A safe car
2. The Holy Spirit, who I believe is my active, VERY active conscience
3. My awesome Cuisinart coffepot
4. The smell of Mark as he kisses me hello in the evening
5. The knowledge that God has a plan for me that I can trust

"For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Crazy Weather!

Today I stayed at school for an extra 20 minutes waiting for the rain/hail/ice storm to stop for a moment so I could sprint to my car! Another teacher and I finally agreed to run into the blustery unknown together for moral support...and were both thankful that our cars have remote door locks so we could open the door as soon as we got to it- whew! When I slid into my car seat (literally, I was THAT wet!) I looked up in the mirror and saw that my hair was covered with little ice balls...I giggled to myself, thinking what Mark would say about my 'do if he was with me. As I drove home, hydroplaning through puddles and being sprayed with water from all directions, all I could think of was how a nice cup of coffee and a cookie sounded...afterall, I did brave the elements to get home. :)

At home finally, the coffee pot is brewing- love that smell- and I light a candle in the kitchen...this is such a habit as the first thing I do when I get home...before even taking my coat off. I sat on the couch with my cup o' joe and oatmeal raisin cookie, snuggled in a blanket and looking out our big picture windows at the world blowing by outside- thankful for my warm home.
I decided it was a night for a cozy dinner...spaghetti. I poured myself a glass of wine and enjoyed watching the Food Network as my own little gourmet meal simmered on the stove.
Dinner turned out great- thank to Mark for taking this great shot of my dish- I'm not great with photography :) He told me that I need to use the "macro" setting for a close-up shot like this...guess I'll try that myself next time.

I'm going to do another post now- a little venting about substitute teaching...read on- I'd love your prayers, encouragement and to crash my pity party. :)

Thursday, January 10, 2008


In the midst of being stressed during interviews and subbing jobs, I feel that I need to remind myself of all the good in my life. Today I'm thankful for:

-my faith
-my home
-morning coffee
-my health

I'm going to start recording 5 things each day I'm thankful for. It immediately changes my attitude when I remember how blessed I am.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Weekend trip with the Turners

This past weekend, we took a trip to Wenachee to go skiing at Mission Ridge. Our friends, Tim and Kristy, went along with us. We stayed at Kristy's parent's house and had a fabulous time. They were so hospitable- they had a beautiful breakfast for us each day and prepared a delicious dinner on Saturday night. The snow on the mountain was great and we all survived without injury, though we are all pretty sore now!

This was Kristy's first time snowboarding in a few years and she did great. By the end of the day, she was boarding like a champ! :-) I really enjoyed my time on the mountain and with an adventurous hubby like Mark, it made me feel good to be doing something that he really loves- I know he was proud of me for stepping out of my comfort zone. This is my third year skiing and though I'm not yet a pro, I'm feeling more confident every time I go.

Today is Mark's 27th birthday and our trip was exactly what he wanted to do to celebrate. I'll be taking him out to dinner tonight and have a few little surprise gifts for him. I feel so blessed to have such an incredible husband in Mark and I can hardly believe we've been together for almost 7 years!

Dear Lord- I thank you so much for Mark. He is such an incredible man and loves You more than anything. I thank You for another year with him and I pray this year that You would bless him greatly, like he's never experienced before. Thank you, God, for the amazing character and integrity you have given Mark. Help him to continue to be a leader for others and show Your love in all he does. Amen.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Well, just thought I'd post this picture of me and Mark. Thought it was funny. :-) When we went to the Botanical Gardens a couple weeks back, Mark was still getting over the cold that he got from me that I got from a boogery first grader...sigh...I let him wear my scarf and it ended up on his head somehow for the remainder of the evening...what a man.
We enjoyed a great night of fellowship on New Years with friends...I'll post pictures as soon as I get them off the camera...and boy, you don't want to miss these! :-)