Monday, April 30, 2007
"Our hope is that, despite our messy lives and our inability to live perfectly, we have a Savior who has already made us whole. In Christ, we are being restored and healed. And even though we may not feel whole, wholeness is ultimately not about our feelings. Isn't that a relief? If I rely on my feelings to tell me whether or not I am whole, then my 'wholeness' is likely to change with each success and failure. But wholeness is not based on subjective feelings. Rather, wholeness begins and ends with our hope in Christ and who we are in him. The reality is that, even if our feelings lead us to believe otherwise, Christ has already restored and healed us in relationship to himself - so at the root of our very being he has already made us whole."
That passage struck me. I had been talking to friend about my walk with God and how I wasn't feeling very whole. I thought that if I spent more time in the Word and more quiet time with God, the wholeness would come back. Then I realized the truth of the idea that the feeling of wholeness will change based on the point in my walk. Needless to say, Stronger Than You Think is now on my summer reading list. Any other suggestions for my list? I would like to finish Blue Like Jazz as well. I have a horrible habit of starting several books and only finishing a couple of them.
Saturday night we went to Fort Wayne with Kianne and Jake. Kianne is an old friend of mine that I have recently reconnected with and Jake is her significant other. It was great that Jake and Ayron decided to ride together in one car and let Kianne and I ride together in the other car. Kianne and I are hoping that our "boys" will become as close as we are. We went to a nice dinner at Triangle Park and laughed at all of the prom people eating dinner. I actually saw some of my former students from my student teaching days. We then went to the mall and started ring shopping for Kianne. It was really cool that Jake, a normally private and shy guy, wanted Ayron and I around for this. I think he just used me as a go between for him and Kianne. One of those middle school situation, "When you went to the bathroom what did she say about ring #1, etc." It was fun though and great to hang out with them again.
Sunday we slept in. For me sleeping in is staying in bed till 7:30. I remember Ayron getting up around 8 to take care of Scooter. Next time I looked at the alarm clock with was 11:30! I still can't believe I slept that long! We managed to mow mom's yard as well as ours, play some catch, and take Scooter for a walk.
It may not seem like a very productive weekend, but it was just what I needed. The end of the school year is in sight and sometimes I think I am more antsy then they kids!
Friday, April 27, 2007
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Thursday, April 26, 2007
I know that a lot of kids have come and gone through the program and I'd like to think that we were able to positively impact all of them, but I am a realist. I wonder how many of this kids I'll see next school year or in the after school program?
I sometimes wonder if I could make more of an educational impact if I did work in a traditional classroom in a traditional school with traditional students. Don't get me wrong, even though I moan and groan a lot, I really do like my job. I just want to be one of those "great" teachers that students remember and I don't know if I can do that here.
Maybe it's just the stress of the day talking. I had one student not show. We think we know where he is, but no one from his family will return our calls. I also had to go to court this morning to pick up a new student. I think I'll just go home and take a nap and pretend that today went ok and that everyone learned and had a good day.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
* I can't find the picture of us doing the "Charlie's Angel's" Nuns, so this one will have to do.
The current song is being sung by Ashley Tisdale. For those of you who do not have children, nieces, or do not watch Saturday morning cartoons, she is an actor on the Disney show "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody." On the album cover she looks like she is sending in her photo to Playboy. Since when did Disney let their "people" start acting and dress many years older than they actually are?
This seems to be an ongoing thing in our society. Heck, part of "Boston Legal" last night focused on the issue. Why are companies marketing mature toys to kids? Am I the only one that thinks that the Bratz dolls look like prostitutes?
Maybe I'm the only one bugged by this, but come on?! No wonder kids are growing up way to fast and doing things way to early in life. It's being pushed at them with their toys and Disney shows.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:Knowing when to come in out of the rain; Why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn't always fair; and Maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are incharge).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6 year old boycharged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Tylenol, sun lotion or a band-aid to astudent; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.
Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault. Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by his 3 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I'm A Victim.
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and donothing.
Monday, April 23, 2007
Ayron and I met up with 4 of our friends yesterday to fly kites and play tennis. After several failed attempts at getting my stunt kite (it is a sphere) to fly, I decided to just lay on the hill and enjoy the beautiful weather. We ended up just laying around in the beautiful sunshine for some time. On the way home I realized, I got burnt! I now have a lovely set of lobster arms and a red face. My face calmed down over night and my usual make up routine (which isn't much) managed to cover it up.
Despite the sunburn, it was a glorious day to be with friends and enjoy the weather.
Doctors have concluded that if you find the man in the coffee beans in 3 seconds, your right half of your brain is better developed than most people. If you find the man between 3 seconds and 1 minute, your right half of the brain is developed normally. If you find the man between 1 minute and 3 minutes, then the right half of your brain is functioning slowly and you need to eat more protein. If you have not found the man after 3 minutes, the advice is to look for more of this type of exercise to make that part of the brain stronger!!! And, yes, the man is really there!!!
Thursday, April 19, 2007
If you would be willing to walk for us, please let Ayron or myself know. It is a great cause, and Noble county currently has more teams scheduled to walk than ever before. I ask that you seriously consider coming out, even if it is just for an hour, and walking. I will gladly walk with you. It is a great way for kids to expel energy. There will be tons of other event going on (Karaoke- Hint Hint Hint to Kym D.), games, inflatables, food, etc. We all know someone who has been effected by cancer. Please honor their life by walking with us.
Ayron and I thought it would be really cool if the "gang"(Quest) from New Hope would come out after church on Saturday and keep us company through the night. So if you're ready to pull an all nighter like we all have done in the past, just let me know.
I walked in the door at home last night and Ayron didn't recognize me. Sara dried, styled, and curled my hair before I left. It was nice to spend some time on me.
My students are totally gonna flip when they see it, but that it kind of what I was going for. I think it worked.
So it's later in the day, and I realized that the only people who noticed my hair were males. Typically males are the less observant sex. My male student went, "Wow! Cool hair!" I went to my other office and my secretary and office assistant didn't notice. But my totally non observant boss (I'm not kidding. You could be dying on his desk and the odds of him noticing you are slim) went, "I think you look different. I don't know why, but I like it."
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Granted, I don't teach in a traditional public school setting. I get the rough of the rough. I am their last hope. By the time they come to me, they are sick of "the system" because it has only ever failed them. They are discouraged and ready to give up. They often have anger issues and they are at the end of their rope. With the rise in school violence, why do people still go into education? Let alone, willingly work with the worst of the worst? I know why I do it.
Someone has to care for these kids. They have been hurt by the system and have given up. I want them to know that I am not "the system." I am different. I will do whatever it takes to help them succeed.
I think we all need to pray for the victims and their families of the Virginia Tech shooting, but also for those who have been forgotten. The students that I work with on a daily basis. Let's not forget to pray for those who are on the edge and could break, they need our prayer too.
Monday, April 16, 2007
An old farmer had a wife who nagged him unmercifully. From morning till night (and sometimes later), she was always complaining about something. The only time he got any relief was when he was out plowing with his old mule. He tried to plow a lot.
One day, when he was out plowing, his wife brought him lunch in the field. He drove the old mule into the shade, sat down on a stump, and began to eat his lunch. Immediately, his wife began harrassing him again.
Complain, nag, nag; it just went on and on.
All of a sudden, the old mule lashed out with both hind feet; caught her smack in the back of the head. Killed her dead on the spot.
At the funeral several days later, the minister noticed something rather odd. When a woman mourner would approach the old farmer, he would listen for a minute, then nod his head in agreement; but when a man mourner approached him, he would listen for a minute, then shake his head in disagreement. This was so consistent, the minister decided to ask the old farmer about it.
So after the funeral, the minister spoke to the old farmer, and asked him why he nodded his head and agreed with the women, but always shook his head and disagreed with all the men.
The old farmer said: "Well, the women would come up and say something about how nice my wife looked, or how pretty her dress was, so I'd nod my head in agreement."
"And what about the men?" the minister asked.
"They wanted to know if the mule was for sale."
Nikki, my sister in law, was in the wrong place at the wrong time. When another driver (turns out to be a family friend) pulled out in front of an oncoming semi, the semi swerved, jack knifed, crossed the center line and struck Nikki's car. Nikki was in ICU for 2 1/2 weeks, and in the hospital just over a month. She has had several struggles, but through it all, her attitude has always been positive.
After consulting with the attorney about the nasty letter sent by the semi's insurance company, they think the letter was meant to go to L (the person who caused the accident). She continues to do physical therapy several times a week, and her posture and balance are always improving. She did pass her driving test (in downtown Ft. Wayne!) and the doctors cleared her to drive. She does minimal driving, but she can get herself to appointments and stuff like that. The odds of her being able to go back to driving her school bus are unknown at this point. The BMV may see her fit to drive, but the school district has the final say. Since she is not working she has spent a great deal of time creating the family's new hobby. The "Country Meadow Rabbitry." The whole family, including myself, has a bunny. Her vision is still not back to where it was before the accident. She still wears a prism lens in the right side of her glasses. She had lost about 40 pounds since the whole ordeal. On the bright side of the whole thing, it has brought us all closer together as a family. Oh, and she was awarded Spencerville's Volunteer Fire Fighter of the Year award. This officially makes it the "Shull" department. Her husband, Phil, won for the year of 2005 and now she is the 2006 winner.
Thanks for keeping her and us in your prayers. Your words of encouragement, prayers, cards, thoughts, food, etc have been a big help!
Friday, April 13, 2007
Am I disappointed because I held this friend's standard high, and they failed (in my eyes)? It is because they should know better? Was is because they sounded proud of themselves for it? Is it because they did something we swore (several years ago) that we would NEVER do? I haven't had that sense of disappointment in a long time. I felt so let down, betrayed, whatever. I think they could tell by the sound of my voice. I'm afraid that if I vocalize my emotions to this friend, they will think that I am trying to mother them, which I am not. They have a mom, I don't need to be one. But how do I be a friend when I feel so betrayed.
By continuing to read this blog you are acknowledging that you are a female. Guys, this is your last chance to leave. I'm warning you. Especially single guys. Really, I'm serious. Can't say I didn't warn you.
Dear Mr. Thatcher,
I have been a loyal user of your Always maxi pads for over 20 years, and appreciate many of their features. Why, without the LeakGuard Core, orDri-Weave absorbency, I 'd probably never be able to go horseback riding or salsa dancing, and I 'd certainly steer clear of running up and down the beach in tight, white shorts. But my favorite feature has to be your revolutionary Flexi-Wings. Kudos on being the only company smart enough to realize how crucial it is that maxi pads be aerodynamic. I can 't tell you how safe and secure I feel each month knowing
there 's a little F-16 in my pants.
Have you ever had a menstrual period, Mr. Thatcher? Ever suffered from "the curse"? I 'm guessing you haven 't. Well, my "time of the month" is starting right now. As I type, I can already feel hormonal forces violently surging through my body. Just a few minutes from now, my body will adjust and I 'll be transformed into what my husband likes to call "an inbred hillbilly with knife skills." Isn't the human body amazing?
As brand manager in the feminine-hygiene division, you've no doubt seen quite a bit of research on what exactly happens during your customers' monthly visits from Aunt Flo. Therefore, you must know about the bloating, puffiness, and cramping we endure, and about our intense mood swings, crying jags, and out-of-control behavior. You surely realize it 's a tough time for most women. In fact, only last week, my friend Jennifer fought the violent urge to shove her husband's testicles into a George Foreman Grill just because he told her he thought Grey 's Anatomy was written by drunken chimps. Crazy! The point is, sir, you of all people must realize that America is just crawling with homicidal maniacs in capri pants. Which brings me to the reason for my letter.
Last month, while in the throes of cramping so painful I wanted to reach inside my body and yank out my uterus, I opened an Always maxi pad, and there, printed on the adhesive backing, were these words: "Have a Happy Period."
Are you kidding me?
What I mean is, does any part of your tiny middle-manager brain really think happiness, actual smiling, laughing happiness is possible during a menstrual period? Did anything mentioned above sound the least bit pleasurable? Well, did it, James? FYI, unless you 're some kind of sick freak girl, there will never be anything "happy" about a day in which you have to jack yourself up on Motrin and Kahlúa and lock yourself in your house just so you don 't march down to the local Wal-greens armed with a hunting rifle and a sketchy plan to end your life in a blaze of glory.
For the love of all that is good, pull your head out, man. If you just have to slap a moronic message on a maxi pad, wouldn't it make more sense to say something that 's actually pertinent, like "Put Down the Hammer" or "Vehicular Manslaughter Is Wrong"? Or are you just picking on us?
Sir, please inform your accounting department that, effective immediately, there will be an $8 drop in monthly profits, for I have chosen to take my maxi-pad business elsewhere. And though I will certainly miss your Flexi-Wings, I will not for one minute miss your brand of condescending crap. And that 's a promise I will keep. Always.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
About a month ago I had mentioned briefly that my copier had decided to stop printing on both sides and with all of the copies I have to make, a lot of paper was being wasted. I called a couple of places for a quote, but all of the quotes were way to outrageous. Keeping in mind that I work for a not for profit organization, I decided to just write a grant and hope to get the money for next school year. My boss managed to talk our copier tech guy down and I now have a new copier. It looks so out of place in my computer lab. All shiny and new, sitting next to older than dirt computers on warped tables.
Hopefully next Friday when I met with a grant committee they too will notice our pathetic computer lab and give me some money to buy some new equipment.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
I don't expect anyone to really care, because I'm pretty sure no one else from Angola reads this, but my goodness does the town stink today.
Monday, April 09, 2007
They tell you where you need to go
They tell you when you'll need to leave
They tell you what you need to know
They tell you who you need to be
But everything inside you knows
There's more than what you've heard
There's so much more than empty conversations
Filled with empty words
And you're on fire
When He's near you
You're on fire
When He speaks
You're on fire
Burning at these mysteries
Give me one more time around
Give me one more chance to see
Give me everything You are
Give me one more chance to be... (near You)
Cause everything inside me looks like
Everything I hateYou are the hope I have for change
You are the only chance I'll take
When I'm on fire
When You're near me I'm on fire
When You speak
And I'm on fire
Burning at these mysteries
These mysteries...I'm standing on the edge of me
I'm standing on the edge of everything
I've never been before
And i've been standing on the edge of me
Standing on the edge
And I'm on fire
When You're near me
I'm on fireWhen You speak(Yea)
I'm on fire
Burning at these mysteries... these mysteries... these mysteries
Ah you're the mystery
You're the mystery
Twenty four oceans
Twenty four skies
Twenty four failures
Twenty four tries
Twenty four finds me
In twenty-fourth place
Twenty four drop outs
At the end of the day
Life is not what I thought it was
Twenty four hours ago
Still I'm singing Spirit take me up in arms with You
And I'm not who I thought I was twenty four hours ago
Still I'm singing Spirit take me up in arms with You
Twenty four reasons to admit that I'm wrong
With all my excuses still twenty four strong
See I'm not copping out not copping out not copping out
When You're raising the dead in me
Oh, oh I am the second man
Oh, oh I am the second man now
Oh, oh I am the second man now
And You're raising these twenty four voices
With twenty four hearts
With all of my symphonies
In twenty four parts
But I want to be one today
Centered and true
I'm singing Spirit take me up in arms with You
You're raising the dead in me
Oh, oh I am the second man
Oh, oh I am the second man now
Oh, oh I am the second man now
And You're raising the dead in me
I want to see miracles, see the world change
Wrestled the angel, for more than a name
For more than a feeling
For more than a causeI'm singing Spirit take me up in arms with You
And You're raising the dead in meTwenty four voicesWith twenty four heartsWith all of my symphonies In twenty four parts.I'm not copping out. Not copping out. Not copping out.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
I talked to several friends about yesterdays blog and turns out, I'm not alone. Several people have felt the way I felt. While I was chatting with one friend in particular, I started to really think about why I felt the way I felt. It hit me, I never had the chance to voice my thoughts to "him." While I have no clue where he is at, and I don't ever care to see "him" again, I do have some things to say to "him." I was responded to a message that a friend sent me through VIRB (it's way better than myspace and a lot easier to use) and it hit me. I just need to write what I would say to "him" if I had the chance. So here goes nothing.
I don't know why you thought you could string me along for 4+ years and not hurt me. Do you not realize that your thoughtless actions effect others around you? You kept me hanging on to you for years, while in your mind I was merely a back up plan. You knew that I'd always be there for you when things fell through with who ever the heck you were chasing at the time. When you did give me the time of day and we "dated" I was ecstatic. I should have known better. I knew how you worked, yet I thought "this time will be different." I was wrong. I thought you realized who your true friends were when you left and I was the only one who wrote to you, and the only one who was still willing to hang out with you when you came back. I should have known better, I really should have, but I was caught up in the moment. That night you came over, I was in heaven, you were home and I thought you were mine. I thank God that K called that night. She didn't realize it till 5 years later, but she saved me from doing something I'd regret for the rest of my life. As much as I hated you, I realize now that I do need to thank you. I thank you for treating me like crap. May sound funny, but I thank you. You're crappy treatment made me appreciate Ayron all the more. I didn't know that guys could be nice without having a hidden agenda. You made me strong. When you left, I learned that I could stand on my own two feet. I learned how to have fun, and hang out with other friends. I learned how not to depend on a guy to make myself feel good. I learned to stand by my values and not let anyone compromise them. I also learned that Mrs. C's advice does work. "A nice knee jerk to the groin will help you get your point across." So thank you. You taught me a lot about myself. I will never let myself get into a situation like that again. I now know that I deserve to be appreciated and I have found someone who does that. So thank you. Without our crappy relationship behind me, I never would have accepted the date with Ayron and I wouldn't be where I am at right now. Just don't come crawling back to me when this relationship goes sour like your first marriage. I truly hope you are happy because I am.
Monday, April 02, 2007
I meet "him" my 8th grade year and I thought we were going to be friends. When I hit high school and saw him every day (he was a year older than I was), I was in heaven. I thought he was the one. He strung me along, off and on for 4 years. Back then, I didn't know any better and I desperately wanted him to like me. We had our brief fling, but he quickly moved on when I refused to do more (if you get my drift). I still see him around, mostly during the fair, but I haven't spoken to him in over 4 years. I'm pretty sure he has some issues, either emotional or mental. Looking back now, he caused me so much unneeded pain and suffering.
If he hurt me so bad, why did I feel the way I felt when I found out? It's not like I want him back, heck no! But it was odd to think that he actually married someone else. I was talking to a friend of mine about it and he said, "You always think your first boyfriend is yours. Even after you break up. Weather or not you realize it, you always hold a piece of them." I don't know if I agree or disagree.
If I had those 4 years to do over, I wouldn't torture myself. I do always have a piece of him with me though, the lessons he taught me about myself. I realized that I am strong and that I will not let anyone manipulate me like he did, so I guess in that regard, he is always with me. I am wonderfully in love with Ayron, which is why it was weird to have the reaction I had when I found out that "he" was getting married. Am I alone in my feelings? Has anyone else felt like this?
One of my students was put on actual home detention over spring break, so he has a lovely anklet and box to carry around and I have daily forms to complete on him.
One student who we thought would leave (he turned 18) actually showed up.
One student managed to get himself locked up.
One teacher in the night program called in for tonight, so I had to cancel the night program.
My day trip for training was turned into an over nighter (cool by me, I don't have to pay for it).
I totally forgot I had a grant that is due this week and I just started it this morning.
I wish I could take a real vacation. Go to an island where no one can contact me (I can contact them, but only if I really want to) and just veg for a week.