Sunday, January 31, 2010

Happy Trails to you...

So, perhaps I should have been more specific about my wishes for snow.  We got it, lots of it...on Friday afternoon, Friday night and into Saturday morning.  We got out of school at 11:00 on Friday but it just didn't feel like a real snow day.  And it kind of ruined my weekend plans of going to Cape and hanging out with Amber (who I haven't seen in 2010).  But it's very pretty!  These are my tracks from my house to the alley because no one in my family had a car that could get into my driveway.  I avoided doing the 15,000 things I needed to do by escaping to my parents for a little Super Mario and lasagna.  Today, Mom and I ran to Marion and I bought some pants for Jr. Beta Convention because someone (could have been me) had the genius idea that reinstate the rule about dressing up for sessions, but had no pants for herself!  This will be a busy week, but a fun one, ending with a Century vs. Meridian basketball grudge match.  SO EXCITED!  Promise to keep you posted!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


So last night, someone called me a workaholic. I actually laughed when he said it, because I don't really think that's true.  Part of my problem is that I am a procrastinator.  I like to plan, but I will still wait until I get as close to the dealine as possible before executing.  The other part of my problem is that I have a hard time saying "No."  I sponsor four clubs at the school, plus do all of my other teacher stuff, and if that wasn't enough I just started the Gifted Training that helped me get that Netbook.

However, my mom said recently that she really felt like my service to the school was one of the ways that I serve God, and I do believe that is true.  When you teach where you grew up, your students are more than just the kids in your classroom for 180 days.  They are the same kids you see at the grocery store, the ballpark, and just about everywhere else.  I've known some of their families all my life, and others I have taught all their brothers and sisters.  I love my job!  I also have a heart for teenagers, especially when I get the chance to talk one-on-one with them.  I can't count the number of times my eyes have filled with tears as I talked with students about the heartbreaks and the joys of their lives.  And those are some of the most amazing moments in my teaching career! 

When I tell people what I do for a living, they either sigh or shake their heads and say something like "I sure couldn't do it."  And I think that's probably true of every job.  You certainly wouldn't want me to wire your house or take your blood.  But I'd like to think that you would be okay with me teaching your kid.  And if that makes me a workaholic, then so be it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Oh Happy Day!

Guess who got a Netbook today courtesy of SIU and the Library of Congress?  If you guessed me, well, then you're paying attention!  Here's a picture of the new love of my life...

It's tiny and adorable and has wifi!  And it makes me VERY happy!  Sheena's in the class with me, and because she is much more organized than me, she's already researched covers.  So, knowing her, I will be emailed 13 options with reviews and notes soon enough (I love having friends who are so not like me!).  It was a long day, but well worth it!  That is all...   

Sunday, January 24, 2010

My Glamorous Life...

Amy Beth used to do daily peaks into her life.  While I can't see this becoming a daily thing by any means, I thought since I got my Powershot out after church, I'd share.  (I did promise to mix up my ramblings with a few pictures, after all.)

After a morning of good worship, I had to go to the grocery store...

I hate grocery shopping!  I wish that I could just have someone do it for me.  I am so thankful that I have a job so that I can afford food, but today I am feeling tired and lazy and I just didn't want to deal with it.  (I know, I know.  I need a little cheese to go with my whine!)

On the way home though I was able to get a couple of really good shots of the sky.  It's been rainy and overcast all day, but the sky has been so cool! 

That's all for today.  I am pretty sure the rest of my afternoon will involve my couch and my Snuggie.  And possibly some supper!  I know, you're all jealous...

Friday, January 22, 2010

It's Friday. Let's Laugh...

I don't have enough time to really get into a post.  I know that my last few have been joyful but also kind of heavy, and I promise that I've been having lots of laughs too.  For instance:
  • I discovered a website that had a "make your own pet name for your significant other" feature.  I immediately emailed it a friend and we are now referring to her beloved as Stud Monkey.  And then dying with laughter...
  • I have been retelling the story of how my cat went psycho yesterday afternoon and how I was forced to defend myself courageously with only a sauce pan and a broom.  And it's all true...I was on the phone with Sheena and she totally heard the whole thing!
  • Yesterday, while reading "Love Song" by Pablo Neruda with my 7th grade poets, I asked if anyone knew what predilection meant.  One student answered "Isn't that those little crackers you have at church?"  (And yet this is also the kid who gave the insight, "I think he's trying to make his music on paper."  Oh the paradox of teaching middle school...)
  • Same class doing a summary of Shakespeare's Sonnet XVIII:  "Shakespeare's just trying to say that she's hott, you know, like summer."  (And that's hot with two t's, if you're counting...)  There was also something about how William Butler Yeats was referring to the "haters" in his beloved's life in "When You Are Old."  I love teaching poetry to middle school!
  • This quote cracks me up--"When you come across a big kettle of crazy, it's best not to stir it."  T-shirts, anyone?  I'll get on it as soon as the "I Agree With Phyllis" shirts are done!  HA!
So, in other words, I am still laughing.  I am just doing it in between all the teaching and running the concession stand and the rest of my crazy life!  I promise to post more fun soon!  (Maybe even some pictures) 

P.S.  Can I just share how happy this new background made me too!  Bright and butterflies!  Loving it!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How Is It That Three Days Can Feel Like a Lifetime?

I have been waiting to share my story once I got my brain back in order!  Well, I'd say it's as much in order today as it ever is.  I'd been preparing for this last weekend for months.  I'd been thinking about what God was going to ask me to say for a long time too.  I knew that God was going to move in that place, because I've never been involved with a Chrysalis weekend when I didn't see God show up.  But I never could have imagined that it would have happened the way it did!  God is so amazing!

God had assembled a great team, and then blessed us with a full flight of caterpillars.  Even though it was my mother who made the list it was evident from the first moments that God put the right people at the right tables.  I had four sweet girls at my table (five when you count my assistant).  And I have no doubt that they learned and experienced a lot this weekend, but what they may not realize is how much they taught me. 

One of the keys that they repeat over and over during team meetings is that it's not about us, and it's not.  But the best part---the part that is so much like God---is that even though we are there to serve, or maybe even because of it, we get blessed too.  My girls were quiet mostly, but in each of them God revealed something to me.  I won't go into detail here, because this is a public blog and those are private thoughts that I just want to share with those girls, but let's just say it was a lot like looking into a mirror sometimes.  I worried that they weren't enjoying themselves, but what I learned was that they were slow cookers.  You put all the good stuff in, practice patience, and in the end, it's pretty fabulous!  They blew me away with their thoughts and insights at Closing, and they all had plenty to say.  I am honored that God chose me to be there in the moments of silent reflection, salvation, discussion, and prayer with these young women.  I could never say "Thank You" enough. 

My talk was everything He wanted it to be and more.  I was still making revisions right up until I left for the camp.  But you know how God is...He changed some things right there as I was speaking.  I knew that He was asking me to be even more open and honest than I had planned, and it was okay with me.  I kind of figured that's how it was going to go anyway.  And the questions...those girls knew how to ask some questions!  They made me think, and laugh a lot, and I hope my answers did them justice. 

This was the fourth time that I had worked a Flight, and it was 10 years since I went on mine (Flight 4).  But I think this was the first time that I really took the whole of it seriously, that I truly felt like an adult and realized that I had a responsibility to God and to the girls to get it together.  Before I think I've always felt like the kids I was, and this time I saw God saying that I could do so much more for Him if I would grow up a bit.  In the days since, some people have said some really kind things about me.  They have even called me a good role model.  Lord, let me truly be the person they see in me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Thank You, Lord!

I am just dying to share with you the awesomeness of this weekend!  God is SO GOOD!  And I expected that this would be a great weekend, but I received a blessing far beyond my wildest expectations!  And I will write about it.  But I want to use the right words and really express my thoughts clearly and you can't do that on the amount of sleep I have been surviving on since Friday. But know that I certainly do have something to say (big shock) on all sorts of things (bigger shock) and that I will be doing it soon...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

God Things...

First of all, take and minute and read an awesome article on how good God is...featuring a quote from my friend (and one of the event organizers), Sheena.  Way to go, friend!  I hope this event raised a lot of money, and I am praising God that it had such community support!

I've had to enact a new family rule today (already).  The rule is this:  If someone goes to the hospital, everyone in the family gets a phone call.  EVERYONE.  NO MATTER WHAT!  My mother had a heart episode (she's supposedly fine now), and didn't call to tell me that she had spent all night at the hospital until this morning as I was getting ready for work.  She didn't want to worry me.  I understand that, but seriously.  So, the rule goes into effect today and is to be followed indefinitely.  Are you listening, family?  (Biological and otherwise!)

Been an exciting day and it isn't even noon yet.  My belief is that God must be getting ready to do something good because there's all kinds of craziness going on!  I pray that it will happen in big, showy, only-of-God kinds of ways--in the city of Cairo, at Camp Oxford, anywhere and everywhere!  Oh let it be so!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

If You're Bothered By Rambling, Skip This Post (or perhaps this blog...)

Ok, so maybe something was actually wrong with me yesterday (not just my crazy girl hormones).  I had a sinus migraine when I got home from work, took some medicine and was asleep at 7:00 p.m.  I got up once to answer the phone (Mom felt really bad that she'd woke me) and once to put the cat up (she sleeps in her own room where she can be as nocturnal as she wants to be without waking me), but other than that slept until about 4:30 a.m.  Then, I was wide awake but feeling much better.

I'm having some scheduling issues this week because I have a whole lot of stuff to do and not a lot of time to do it in.  And last night was a total waste.  But, if I am very careful, I think I can still squeeze most of it in.  I need to make brownies, do laundry, pack  for the weekend, write a some letters, finish my PowerPoint that I keep staring blankly at, buy paper for and copy my handouts, make copies of and a backup drive for my talk, and clean out my car.  I work the basketball game tonight and have NYI tomorrow night, but at least I was smart enough to take a personal day on Friday so I can cram some of this stuff (packing in particular) into the time before we leave.  I just hate feeling like I don't have enough time to get things done.  It makes me do things like wake up in the middle of the night panicking.  Luckily, I am much better about it now than I was in high school.  (Those would get to panic attack levels almost!)  I just have to trust that the stuff I need to get done will one way or another, I suppose...

I do think that I have my talk the way that I want it.  After a lot of revision, I think the words are finally right.  I hope that they hear my heart though, and that they hear God, instead of just a bunch of words.  It's taken me a long time to be okay with where I am in my life, and it's a very personal journey.  What helped me may not be the thing for anyone else.  Because there is no secret formula for how to deal with singleness, just like there's no secret formula for how to deal with much of anything that happens in our lives.  No book, no website, no well-meaning friend can get you there, if your heart isn't ready to hear what God has to say.  And some of us take a lot longer than others.  Enough rambling for today...

Monday, January 11, 2010

It Doesn't Take Much...

“Do not waste yourself in rejection; do not bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.”
                                                                                                          ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

So that earlier post about what at crummy mood I was in?  Some time in Ephesians, a little music & prayer, plus this quote, totally set me right.  Hope it blesses your day too!

A Woman On The Verge

I'm in kind of a testy mood again today.  I feel like should wear a warning sign or something to prevent someone from stepping into my dangerous web.  There's no real reason why I should feel this way.  Everything with my day has gone according to plan.  The kids have been especially well behaved.  I am ahead of schedule on both of the events I am planning...and yet, I feel what can be best described as edgy.  Maybe it's just girl stuff.  Who knows?  But I am ready for it to pass.   This is a big week, leading to an even bigger weekend and I want to be at my best physically, mentally, and spiritually for what lies ahead!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

In Praise of the Four Day Weekend and Then Some...

I am so excited to say that I did, in fact, get my snow day.  Two, in fact.  And what did I do with that?  Did you guess played Super Mario Brothers for the Wii until my fingers were sore and I was screaming in frustration?  If so, then you would be correct!  And yesterday I went to the team meeting, came home, and was in bed asleep at 8:00.  Don't tell me I don't know how to live it up!

I don't know if it's being a little sickly (cold/sinusstuff) or what, but I was really frustrated today after I left church.  I wish I had easy answers about how to fix things.  I don't.  Not even close.  I think part of it is that my thinking is just different about some things.  I tend to be a bit of a liberal on some issues.  I know that's a dirty word in the Christian community, but it's the best one I have to describe myself.  I get tired of small mindedness, of misogynistic agendas, of people who scream for change but make no effort to actually make any.  I love God, and I believe that Jesus Christ is my Savior.  I believe that the Church is the universal body of believers and that it has nothing to do with which building or denomination we choose to worship under. 

I have no tolerance for fake niceties or for doing things for the sake of doing them.  I may not be the first to speak up, but I will have no issue doing so when I find something I am passionate about.  (I'd give you a list of possible topics, but it might get me started on a tangent...)  I think that following God is about doing as much as you can for His kingdom based on what you know to be true about God.  I think that it's important to find teachers and leaders you trust to learn more about His Word, so that you can become stronger in your faith.  I don't think that you have to attend church twice on Sundays and every Wednesday night to do this, yet I do believe that finding a group of believers you can worship with regularly is important.  I believe that no matter what we put into a service, there has to be something to take away before we can leave with a full heart.  And when you can't, you will be ready to burst with want for something that you just can't seem to find.

Maybe I'm way off base, but it's just how I feel.

And now, for a poetry break...

I'm longing for answers, but don't even have questions
Afraid of what's out there yet longing for truth.
No more pretending, toss out those secrets
And fill up the garbage with yesterday's news.

Lies will be spoken, hearts will be broken,
Disappointment, delusions will cloud up the view.
Looking out the barred window of your own little prison
The key to the lock within arm's reach of you...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

For the love of a snow day...

I hate people who think that just because you are an adult, you can't get excited over things.  Like for instance, a snow day.  Now, I loved snow long before I was a teacher, but becoming one has done nothing to quench the excitement I feel when the weatherman begins to mention those magical words.  Forget it once he starts showing me the forecast maps.  Last night, I watched the news on two different channels and looked it up online just to see what the maps had to say.  And sure, we jsut started back, but who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth (another phrase I use but don't know where it came from)?  If the Good Lord sees fit to send us three to five inches of snow, then who am I to tell Him no?  It's possible that I might have been the girl lying in bed this morning praying something like "And snow, God.  We need it.  Please oh please ohpleaseohpleaseohplease!  Amen!"

And now would probably be a good time to mention that if we get snow and don't get a snow day, I will cry like a kid in the cereal aisle.  For real.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Goals For A New Decade

"Never confuse movement with action." - Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway may have been a bloated, old drunk, but once in while he made a good point.  I spend a lot of time moving, but very little taking action.  2010 is going to be the year I change that.  I don't like New Year's Resolutions because to me, they just seem too temporary.  Instead, I have decided to set forth some goals for 2010.  These are things that I want to make happen over the next 360 days (in no particular order):

1.  Become serious about exercise. ( I won't beat this dead horse.  You know from my last post where I stand on the issue.)

2.  Get a plan together for going back to grad school.  I'm not sure that I am ready to go back yet, but I want to have all my ducks in a row for when I am.  And I am more sure than ever that I want my Master's to be in Administration.

3.  Be more organized, especially when it comes to my finances.  I'm doing much better than I was at one point, but there's still room for improvement.   There are also some things I have been wanting to change at my house and I think is the year I need to go for it!

4. Take chances.  I've always been a "play it safe" kind of girl.  And there's nothing wrong with that, really.  But I want to do some things that make me step out of my comfort zone a little.  Karaoke was not a bad first step, but I think there are others ways I limit myself out of fear of the unknown or fear of looking silly.  I don't want to live the rest of my life like that.

5. To be more focused on God and His Word.  When I was growing up, I wasn't really encouraged to read the Bible outside of the liturgy on Sundays at Mass.  I know all the Bible stories, but I want to really take some time each day to meditate on what God is saying.  I'm really bad about putting devotion time off for other things, even when I have plenty of time to do it.  No more!

6. Take more pictures.  Of everything.  All the time.  I am now the proud owner of two very nice cameras so I have no excuse!

7.  Blog more.  About nonsense, about my thoughts, about anything I happen to be thinking or seeing.  Especially now that I've sucked my friends into the blogosphere with me!

That's all for now, but who knows when another one might hit me...

Back To Reality...

I have been back to my real life now for two whole days.  It's hard to go back to the grind after having such a great time off during break. I know I've said it before but it's such a welcome change from where I was last year.  I do really feel refreshed though, and I am not nearly as stressed as I was before break.  (Talk to me again as we get closer to the big events this semester...)

Like my friend over at A Life in Ordinary, I know that it's high time to get it in gear with working out.  I feel better when I work out, so that should be enough to motivate me.  But after seeing pictures of myself recently, I know that I can't continue to live at this size.  It's simply not good for me. No huge sweeping changes, but I know how to eat right and exercise, so I intend to do it.  I've got a little over five months until Matt & Mel's wedding, three until we head to Alabama, but it's time just the same.  And if I get serious, I have no doubt I can be successful at this.  In fact, I'm refusing to use any of my Christmas gift cards until I can fit into some of my other clothes again.  Even 10 lbs. would have me heading in the right direction.  But it's not numbers that I am most concerned about, it's my energy level and my overall fitness. 

I'm working on post that will talk about some of my other goals for 2010.  Look for it before the end of the week!  See you soon--

Monday, January 4, 2010

The First of 2010

Once I get all my real work done, I will post the pics from New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, but until then, enjoy a little survey fun!

1. What bill do you hate paying the most?  I don't like paying any of them all that much

2. Do you miss being a child?  I miss not having responsibilities, and having that childlike sense of wonder

3. What chore do you hate the most?  Dishes

4. Where was the last place you had a romantic dinner?  Um, well...let me think here...

5. If you could go back and change one thing, what would it be?   I don't know that I would change anything, because things wouldn't play out the same way.  But sometimes I consider what my life might be like if I had gone away to school.

6. Name of your first grade teacher?  Mrs. Goins, whose classroom is now three doors down from mine.  She prefers that I not introduce her as "This is Debbie, and she was my first grade teacher."

7. What do you really want to be doing right now?   Hanging out with my friends on the beach

8. What did you want to be when you grew up?  An actress or a singer. 

9. How many colleges did you attend?  Two.  SCC and SIU-C

10. Why did you choose the shirt that you have on right now?  It was clean and warm

11. What are your thoughts on gas prices?  That at least I can afford to have it and travel freely

12. Last thought before going to sleep last night?  "Gilmore Girls is so funny..."

13. First thought when the alarm went off this morning?  "Already?"

14. What famous person would you like to have dinner with?  I love Paula Deen.  My sister and I refer to her as "Nana Paula."  For example, "What's Nana Paula cooking on her show today?"  I think dinner with Beth Moore would be awesome.  Perhaps it's my love of women with big hair, like Amy Beth blogs about from time to time.  All-time dead or alive, I would like to have dinner with Dorothy Parker or Amelia Earhart, maybe together (that would be one interesting dinner).

15. Have you ever crashed your vehicle?  Yeah, if you know me in real life, you are probably laughing.  It's funny, but in all reality I'm really blessed because I have been in two really bad wrecks and not even ended up with a scratch on me.  My cars on the other hand...

16. If you didn’t have to work, would you volunteer?  Yes, I think I would.  Probably some place that helps kids or families

17. Get up early or sleep in?  I like to sleep in, but I am still not one to sleep the whole day away

18. What is your favorite cartoon character?  Tinkerbell

19. When did you first start feeling old?  Whenever I realize that Sheena, Crys and I have been singing together for 10 years, or when I see one of my friends from high school or college that I haven't seen in a while

20. Favorite lunch meat?  Turkey

21. What do you get every time you go into Target?  Something from the dollar aisle.

22. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual?  No.  I do think that too many people romanticize what marriage is really like or they don't take it seriously enough

23. Favorite movie you wouldn’t want anyone to find out about?  I like a lot of really crappy movies from the 80s, like Summer School

24. What’s your favorite drink?  I love Sweet Tea

25. Who from high school would you like to run into?  I see many of the people I went to high school with from time to time.  There are some girls I knew in elemntary school that I wonder about.  Maybe I need to see if they have a facebook!

26. What radio station is your car radio tuned to right now?  I listen to CDs for the most part.

27. Worst relationship mistake that you wish you could take back?  Getting in over my head, and denying that I was

28. Have you ever had to use a fire extinguisher for its intended purposes?  No, thank goodness

29. Do you have a teddy bear?  No, but I have a puppy dog called Patches that I used to take with me when I was way from home (and this is when I was in college, so there you go)

30. Do you go to church?  Almost always Sunday morning, sometimes Sunday night, and Wednesdays at least twice a month

Friday, January 1, 2010

Oh 2010, may you live up to my first glimpse...

Rang in the New Year in style--with a doctor, two PTs and a pharmacist, and no I wasn't in a hospital!   I joined my cousin's annual NYE party and it was a good time.  I promise a few pictures later. 

Tonight, we karaoke.  And I am more excited about this than a million Christmases!  Amber's going to stay over so she can join us this time.  It should be a legendary night for all...