Thursday, June 30, 2011

Today Is the Day

We are leaving on vacation. I can't wait! I love to travel and we began to plan this trip back in February. This trip is going to mean many hours in the car, but it will all be worth it. We are heading out this afternoon and will be spending the night in St. Louis. In the morning, we will head to Chicago for a couple of days. My extended family has a tradition of having a picnic around the 4th of July at my great-uncle's house. So we will be spending Saturday catching up with family that we see once or twice a year. Hubby's brother, who lives in Chicago, will be joining us for this. This will be our last time to see him for a while since he is getting ready to move.

Sunday morning we are heading out bright and early for our final destination, Tybee Island, Georgia, which is near Savannah. We will be spending the next week in this small little beach town. I hope that we have a nice relaxing week and also get some together time. I hope to blog a little along the way, but if not I hope everyone has a safe and fun 4th of July! I love travelling, so let the adventure begin. I will leave you with a couple of images of my scenery next week.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I Can Choose My Own Attitude

I know I haven't blogged a lot recently, but my summer has been full of not much to blog about. I am thoroughly enjoying myself, just haven't done a lot that is worthy of writing about.

I mentioned not long ago that the church where hubby and I got married and where we attend when we are in Central Arkansas, got a new pastor. Sunday was his first service and I have to admit, I really was moved by his message. He wasn't trying to replace the old pastor, he was just being himself and his sermon could not have been more timely, both for me personally and for the church as a whole.

The title was "Some Truths About Change." If I'm being honest, I don't do well with change; it's a big stressor for me. However, I do realize that things are always changing and I am working on trying to be more accepting of it and even welcoming to it. People's lives are always in flux and there are times when we are begging for change, whether it be jobs, housing, having kids, relationships, etc. I realize I'm pretty good with change that I want, it's those unexpected changes that throw me for a loop.

I also know that I am not very patient. When I want something to happen, I want it to happen immediately. Like with hubby's job situation. I want to him to get a teaching position and I want to know about it now. This attitude reminds me of a child and their need for instant gratification. That kind of attitude really isn't appropriate for an adult like me. I know everything will work out in God's time, not mine. This change will occur when it is supposed to, not necessarily when I want it to. I meed to quit avoiding the change I don't want as well as trying to rush the changes I do want.

Back to the sermon, one of the biggest ideas I got was that I can choose MY attitude. Rick Warren has the following idea about change:
There is no growth without change.
There is no change without loss.
There is no loss without grief.
There can be grief without despair.

I will not despair about change or the lack of it. I will choose my attitude!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says,
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

This is my new mantra. I choose to be joyful! I choose to be prayerful! I choose to be thankful! There is one thing I know will never change and that is God and His love for me. Thanks Brother Kevin for this most timely reminder.

Friday, June 17, 2011

It's Just the Way It Is

It seems that now I am out of school and have more time on my hands I have nothing to blog about. Life has slowed down dramatically for me and I love it. Hubby, on the other hand, has been doing school work like crazy. He is taking two classes and has to work about 8 hours each day to stay on top of all the reading, assignments, and tests he has to do. I do not envy him!!

I have spent this week reading, talking, relaxing, swimming (a little), and just taking life easy. I have been cleaning and doing some laundry, too. I have been exercising once and even sometimes twice a day. Yesterday, I was a cooking fool! But, now I don't have to cook for a few days. I had forgotten how much I enjoy cooking when I have time and a real kitchen that actually has room to work in.

Next week, I have to go back to NWA for a few days to go to a Literacy Symposium. I am kinda excited about that because I really enjoyed it last year. I'll get to see some of my friends and hopefully learn a little, too. It falls over our anniversary so hubby and I will go out for a nice dinner.

The only other thing going on right now is we are desperately trying to get hubby a teaching job. He can keep the same job he had last year a my school, but a teaching job would be such a blessing to us, financially and professionally for him. The bad side of this is the potential that we would have to live apart during the week. But, that is a step we are willing to take to get his teaching career jumpstarted. We have spent time in prayer over this and know that God will lead us to the path He wants us to take.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Saying Goodbye... a hard thing to do. It seems I am having to do it a lot lately. First, there are some teachers leaving our school. They are moving in different directions and won't have their smiling faces at school next year. I know we will still stay in contact through Facebook and they will make the occasional visit to school, but it won't be the same. I have made some good friends in my time and school and seeing them leave is sad. At the end of every year I worry about who won't be returning. Instead I should enjoy the time we do get to share.

Second, the pastor at our church in Greenbrier is retiring. He has been here for 9 years. He was a welcoming face and a super encourager. But, most importantly to me, he was the one that joined hubby and I in holy matrimony. We attended pre-marital counseling sessions with him and really forged a bond. It was comforting knowing that he was there and always wished the best for us. Again, I know we will still have contact with him and his wife. They are actually moving closer to us in Northwest Arkansas. However, it will be difficult to know that he won't be leading the church anymore. That church has meant so much to me. I was baptized there and married there, but now it will just be a little different.

I know that change is part of life and life will continue to go on despite the changes. It just seem that there is so much change going on around me, but I'm not really changing. I have never been good at change. It always seems to take me a while to accept it and adjust to it. I am working on being more flexible and to bend with the changes and not break in change. I know that with a little effort I can still maintain the relationships with the people I have had to say goodbye to. I want to view it as saying goodbye to the circumstances, but not to the people.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer To-Do List

Well, summer vacation is finally here and I couldn't even sleep in. I guess that is what happens when you get up at the same time for 9 months straight. We only have about 8 weeks off this year thanks to the 10 snow days we had. I am going to enjoy this time off and get a few things accomplished. I am listing some things I want to get done on here to hold myself accountable.

1. Help mom get the yard cleaned up. We will need hubby's help for this because he can manage the chainsaw.

2. Get our pool swimmable again. We have a lot of iron in our water, which when mixed with chlorine turned the water brown. Yuck!

3. Do some heavy-duty summer cleaning in our house. This doesn't get done in spring, so I want to do in the summer.

4. Read my Bible faithfully every day. I want to become closer to God and really listen to the direction he wants us to head in.

5. Exercise!!! The end. I have gotten out of this habit, but my body and mind need me to get back in.

6. Read at least 5 books. I love to read and need to make time to do it. It's my great escape!!

7. Do my book study for work. We have a flex-day during the year, where if we already have acquired 6-hours of pre-approved professional development we get the day off of work. I chose to read a book and summarize it and the implications it has for my teaching. The books sounds really interesting so I will have to get in the school mode and make myself get it done. This does not count toward the five books I want to read.

8. Tend to my garden. We have planted a small garden and a small salsa garden. I hope we get some yummy vegetables from it. We have cucumbers, tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini squash, eggplant, beans, and some other things. Can't wait until we can actually eat some of these.

I'm sure there are plenty of other things to get accomplished, but this list is a start. I have until about August 10 to get this list accomplished. Let's see how I do.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Almost There

Tomorrow starts summer vacation. I am so excited to have a few weeks off to rest, relax, and regroup. The students' last day was yesterday and today we go back for a couple of hours of inservice and to close down our classrooms. We will be spending most of the break down in Central Arkansas. Hubby is taking two summer classes the first term and then will have a little break, too. We will also have about a 10-day vacation thrown in there.

These past several weeks have been such a whirlwind. The end of school is crazy for anybody, but particularly so for a special education teacher. In my district, we have to have a conference with every student's family to discuss their progress over the past year and to make a plan for the upcoming year between Spring Break and the end of the year. Throw in the state testing, the testing for students that are English Language Learners, and testing the incoming kindergartners that may need special education services and that makes us very busy people. But, that is all done! Hubby and I also made it through our graduate classes for the semester with 2 A's each!

I'm looking forward to spending hours in the pool, reading some books, and catching up with friends. I hope everyone has a peaceful summer!