Friday, December 29, 2006

Bits & Pieces

Well, this post will have bits and pieces about different things - no specific topic. This is mainly because my mind is a little jumbled up lately.

First off, I got my marks back today from first semester. I as a little disappointed with my TESL mark - it as B+, which is fine, but I thought I had done a tad bit better. My effective writing course got the highest mark: A. The big surprise for me came when I looked at the mark for the dreaded Children's Lit course. I honestly didn't put a lot of effort into that class because I didn't care for it (like I've mentioned on here a few times). I asn't at all prepared for the exam, and didn't think I had done well on my journals or my paper. Apparently I must have done well on them all (though I honestly think the prof might be an easy marker), because I received an A-!

I have been feeling rather...discontent and restless lately. I know I need to put my focus back on God and get back on track with praying and reading my Bible, so this is probably at the root of what I've been going through for the last little while.

However, I really feel like I am going through a mid-life crisis. Yeah, I know, a mid-life crisis is usually attributed to men in their mid 40's who go out and buy flashy bright red convertable sports cars and leave their wives for blonde bimbos half their age (no offence to blondes or anyone for that matter). I did a bit of research online because I wanted to know if it is possible for women to go through a mid-life crisis. Apparently this is getting to be more and more common in women due to the fact that they are in the work force (and have been for some time) . I guess it wasn't common when women were staying home to be housewives and moms. Anyway, another article said that with men a mid-life crisis usually involves work and in providing for their families (they feel they haven't done well enough or should have done better, or something like that). For women, the crisis tends to revolve more around family - husbands, children, homelife, that sort of thing. Another article also said that a woman who has a mid-life crisis tends to have it, typically, in her mid to late 40's, but that is can also appear as young as 38-42. On my next birthday, which happens to be in January, I will be 38.

Anyway, I can't even really put into words all that I have been feeling and the thoughts I have been having. I just feel like I haven't accomplished anything in my life - that I have wasted my life. I don't feel like I have anything to show for the nearly 38 years I have been alive. I have no husband, no kids, no home of my own (had to move back in with my parents when I went back to school), and a big ol' student loan debt. Sure, other students have loans to pay back too, but the difference is they usually start paying it back in their 20's. I'm nearly 40. I know it probably seems like I am blowing things out of proportion, and that these things aren't a big deal, but to me it is a huge deal. I just feel like I don't know what I'm doing anymore; I don't know what direction I'm heading in. Basically, I feel lost.

I do have days where I am fine and none of this bothers me, but on the days that it does bother me, I feel really...worthless...that's about the only word I can think that describes how I feel. I felt so bad the other night that I cried myself to sleep. I talked to God, told Him how I feel and why...told Him I didn't even know what to say to Him or that I didn't feel I could even face Him.

Anyway, I am not really looking forward to my next birthday. I don't even think that I want to celebrate it or acknowledge that day as my birthday. I'm trying to get over all of this, trying to tell myself none of this really matters (the things I'm feeling and thinking that is)...that sort of thing. If I keep telling myself this, and I figure if I say it often enough I'm bound to believe it sooner or later...

But, I'll end for now because this has become a rather depressing entry.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Boxing Day

Today, December 26, is known in Canada (and other places like Britain, New Zealand and Australia) as Boxing Day.

When I was young, I used to think this day was called Boxing Day because of all the boxes lying around the house - you know the ones, toys or cloths, household items, etc. were now out of their boxes and sitting under the Christmas tree to show to any visitors who came by. Then, when I was a little old, I used to think it had something to do with the boxes that the Christmas tree and the decorations came in - that maybe this was the day you were supposed to take down the tree and all the decorations around the house, and put them back into their proper boxes.

If you Google Boxing Day traditions, you'll find several articles that talk about this holiday. Here is one that I thought was interesting (it actually has a few of the supposed meanings behind this day).

At any rate, it is a holiday, but it isn't a paid one - at least for me. I'm sure there are companies and businesses who do pay their employees for Boxing Day, though. I'm just glad that it is a day off work. Sometimes the family will go around visiting aunts and uncles and cousins (or other relatives), but we are just spending a quiet day at home. Besides, the weather isn't really nice. We went from +7 celcius yesterday to lower temps in the minus range (though it's in the low minus range, like maybe -2 or -3 celcius). It's been snowing a little and there is a light covering on the ground; but now it is raining a bit (and there might be some snow mixed in with that too), and they are calling for more snow later. At one point I heard there is supposed to be a little freezing rain, but I don't know if that has changed. I do know the salt trucks were out (they go around spreading salt on the roads to prevent freezing), so the city is at least preparing just in case.

It's off to work again tomorrow morning - bright and early. We can go in for 7:00am and will probably be there until 4:30pm, so that should help contribute to a nice pay cheque. Hopefully I will be able to update you on how work is going over the next day or two.

Happy Boxing Day!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

I received this the other day in an email and thought I would share it as my Christmas Eve post. Merry Christmas to you all, and may your holiday be filled with Christ.

Twas the night before Christmasand all through the town,
not a sign of Baby Jesuswas anywhere to be found.
The people were all busyWith Christmas time chores.
Like decorating, and baking, and shopping in stores.

No one sang "Away in a manger,no crib for a bed".
Instead, they sang of Santa dressed-up in bright red.
Mama watched Oprah, Papa tried to take a nap.
As hour upon hour the presents they'd wrap.

When what from the T.V.did they suddenly hear?
'Cept an ad..which toldof a big sale at Sears.
So away to the mall they flew like a flash.
Buying things on credit and others with cash!

And, as they made their way homefrom their trip to the mall.

Did they think about Jesus? oh, no... not at all.
Their lives become so busy with Christmas time things.
No time to remember Christ Jesus, the King.

There were presents to wrap and cookies to bake.
How could they stop and remember who died for their sake?
To pray to the Savior and take the time to stop.
It's really hard to do when you 'shop til you drop'.

On Wal-mart! On K-mart! On Target! On Penney's!
On Hallmark! On Zales! A quick lunch at Denny's.
From the big stores downtown, to the stores at the mall.
They would dash away, dash away, and visit them all!

And up on the roof there arose such a clatter.
As grandpa hung icicle lights up on his brand new step ladder.
He hung lights that would flash. He hung lights that would twirl.
It's easy to forget Jesus - The Light of the world.

Christ's eyes... how they twinkle! Christ's Spirit... how merry!
Christ's love... how enormous! All our burdens... He'll carry!
So instead of being busy, overworked, and uptight.
Let's put Christ back inChristmas and say a prayer tonight!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Happy Monday!

Well, I had my first day back at work today, and it went pretty fine. There are about three or four new people that were hired after I left in the summer. They replace the three or four who have quit since I left in the summer. It seemed a little weird that a couple of the people were gone - not that they were my favourite people or anything, but they were always just there...

My productivity was way low today, but I blame that on the fact that the desk I'm sitting at isn't set up the way I had it. They have one of those articulate keyboard thingys...not sure exactly what they are called...on the desk, and though I could take the keyboard off of it and shove the contraption under, I won't do that because I always bang my knees on it - and that doesn't exactly tickle. So, it will take me a little bit to get used to that. Oh and the chair isn't good either - none of them are; they are old and just not comfortable. My back was really sore by the end of the day and no amount of adjusting the chair would help. I think that part of the reason with the chair is that I'm just not used to sitting in one like that since the summer. I remember I had the same problem when I first started back last summer (though I was able to find one of the newer ones not in use, but they are all being used now), and after a week or so I got used to it and my back didn't bother me. The only thing is, I will probably get used to the chair and have to leave, but oh well.

I'm not sure how long I'll get to work, for sure this week, and probably next week. The supervisor who normally tells me when things get slow that they don't need me (usually the week after New Year, or sometimes the week between Christmas and New Year - just depends on the work situation) isn't there (I'm told she found out a couple months ago that she has colon cancer and was having an operation or something - haven't heard any prognosis or anything on if she is coming back). So, the supervisor who is usually off at that time is working - or at least I think she will be working, though she was scheduled to have vacation since she was flying out west - and I don't know if she'll let me stay even when things are majorly slow or not. I think I might work for a few weeks, and have at least one to myself before classes start back in January.

Speaking of Christmas, I have not finished mine yet! My brother and sister-in-law's gift will be gotten tomorrow, and possibly for my other brother and his girlfriend/fiance/common law (whatever she's called) will be gotten then as well. I still need to get something for Mom and Dad, and they aren't much help - keep telling me they don't need anything (insert eye roll here). I'll get them something this week though - hopefully no later than Wednesday. I have my nephew's gifts, and I keep seeing other things that I buy for him. He's only 3 1/2 so I want to give him something he'll like or something he'll play with. I've got several things for him already so I might not get him anything else - unless I really think I should get it...lol.

Anyway, I'm feeling a little tired - not used to getting up early. I managed to catch a quick 15 minute cat nap before supper, which seemed to help at the time, but I'm starting to feel tired again. Off to do some knitting I think - gotta finish up the last of my knitted Christmas gifts by Saturday. Have a Christ filled day!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

I'm Free!

School is now done for the winter break! Yay! I finished my last exam on Thursday evening and was so glad to be done. It does feel kind of "weird" that anytime I do something not school related, and the thoughts of having to get homework done surface, that I don't have to worry about that for a few weeks. I still feel like I need to do readings or work on my paragraph for the writing class. But, I don't have to do anything. I can knit as long as I want, I can watch TV if I want, I can surf blogs if I want...

Well, remember those wintery pics in my last post? Well, the last few days have been mild and we've had a bit of rain so there isn't much snow left. Most of it is along the curbs where the snow plows had pushed the snow off the roads. There is the odd spot here and there on lawns too. I'm not sure if they are calling for any snow between now and Christmas, but I hope we get a little bit so that it at least looks like Christmas - then it can melt and I won't mind.

I start back to work (my old job - the one I go to during summer breaks) on Monday. I had told the supervisor to call me and let me know if there was an early start (I'm willing to go in early). She said she would try to remember to call, but I never heard from her so she either forgot or there isn't an early start. One thing I'm not looking forward to is having to get up early. I am not used to that. My earliest class started at 2:55pm, and my other classes were in the evenings. I think that is going to be the hardest thing for me to get used to. I'll be bringing my trusty mug and drinking lots of coffee no doubt - you know, trying to keep my energy level up. The tiredness will hit after lunch - or at least that is when it used to in the summer. Oh well, I know I'll be able to cope.

Anyway, not much in the way of news at the moment. I've been busy trying to get Christmas knitting done up in time so the recipients can have their gift by the 25th. And speaking of knitting, I've got a new look over at my knitting blog, as well as a new name. Please feel free to go check it out over at Kitten Knits Yarn.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Still Busy

I'm still busy working on the essay and assignments that are due tomorrow and some that are due by Friday. I would like to get them all done by tomorrow, but I don't know if that will be entirely possible - for sure I can get the bulk of it done by then, though.

Things have gotten colder in this neck of the woods, and the other day we got some snow. I thought I'd share a couple of pictures I took from our front window yesterday morning.

Exams start next week - how exciting....NOT! Two of them I feel that I will do pretty well on, but the third one (Children's Lit), I am totally not prepared for, and I know it's my own fault. However, I just don't really seem to care about this course. I mean, I don't want to fail (heaven forbid), but I just don't seem to really
care if I only get a C in it...I mean I wouldn't like that mark, but at the same time...

I am going through some internal struggles lately and there are a few decisions that I am going to be making soon. I am getting a sense of peace with one of these decisions (after talking to God about it). The only thing that I don't have peace about is the feeling that I am going to be a disappointment. I am a huge people pleaser, and it always bothers me immensely when others are upset or angry or whatever with me. I know I can't please everyone and that not everyone is going to like me - but still, it seems like such a huge thing to not have others disliking me...

Anyway, papers and assignments need to get done and then studying can take place so I'm off to make a post on my knitting blog,
Kitten Yarns & Crafts, and then get back to work.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Such Agony!

I have an essay due this week for my Children's Lit class. I really have no desire whatsoever to do this, no interest, no nothing. It has to be seven to ten paragraphs in length, and each paragraph must be six to ten sentences. In some ways that doesn't seem too bad, but in other ways it seems like the prof is asking for the world on a silver platter.

The topic I chose (because it was what I was most familiar with) is Discussing the importance of PEI (Prince Edward Island) as a setting for Anne of Green Gables. I have been to PEI a few times, and have visited the Anne of Green Gables site (and other places associated with its author). I have read the book for the class (I read it probably fifteen years ago as well), and I am aware of the setting quite well. So, I figure this shouldn't be too difficult of a task.

Well, we are to use the primary source (which is the book itself), and at least two secondary sources. One of the sources I planned on using is hidden away in a box which I can't seem to locate. I want to use the first volume of LM Montgomery's journals, as that will have her mentioning the book and her love for her home province. I am going to have to make a trip to the public library on Monday (if it's open) and see if they have a copy of it...if not, then I'm up the creek I guess.

I have been surfing the net to find reputable articles that I could use as secondary sources - we aren't supposed or allowed to use something that is basically an opinion someone has typed on their blog or website. I've gone to the University of PEI to find something (the prof said I could use that as a source), but can't find what I think I am supposed to use...

So, I guess what I will do, is at least start with using the primary source and use my own words and whatnot, then when I can find some sources worthwhile I will add them.

Aside from that I have other assignments to do for this week - the last week of classes, most of which are due no later than Thursday, Dec. 7. The following week is when I will be writing exams. I'm not looking forward to those either, and I need to get studying - but in all honesty, that won't be able to happen until I get these assignments done.

Anyway, I'd appreciate prayers that I will get all of this done without too much worry or stress, as well as prayers for the exams - that I will know what to study and how to study (I don't know what to expect for exams in English classes - my major was in Biblical Studies and I knew exactly how and what to study for those).

God bless you all, and have a Christ filled day!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I'm Still Here

I want to apologize to everyone for the simple fact that I haven't been posting here as much lately. To be honest, I just don't know what to write about. Nothing much has been happening, school is going fine. I have been trying to think of posts to write, but nothing is coming to mind - and to think I call myself a writer, LOL!

The weather has cooled off considerably. For a week or so, recently, we have had beautiful temperatures reaching upwards to 20 celcius! The last few days have been seasonal however, with temperatures in the lower digits - anywhere from 4 to 8 celcius I believe. We still don't have snow, but I'm not complaining. I'm sure we'll get our fair share of it sooner or later.

I got a wonderful compliment from my writing teacher the other day. We had to hand in the thesis and outline of our next essay (which is to be an expansion of one of our shorter paragraphs that we have handed in previously - we do not use any sources for this, just our own thoughts, etc.), and on the bottom of mine she wrote that I have real talent and a strong voice. Wow. I never expected that.

I wondered, at first, if she wrote something like that on everyone's outline/thesis, but then I realized she's not like that. If your writing is no good, she wouldn't lie about it. She might try to write something encouraging like "with improvement, you could become a great writer" or something like that - you know, put a little positive in with the negative/constructive criticism. I mean if something doesn't make sense, she'll let you know. If your grammer is rotten, she'll tell you to pay attention to it...things like that. She's not mean about her editing and critiquing, but she won't falsely lead you on; that is something that doesn't help any writer. Writer's need to be told the truth or else they'll never improve.

I tell you though, after reading that comment I am inspired to keep writing for sure (not that I was planning on giving it up or anything). I've got an idea for a little "article" I'd like to write and maybe submit to Christian Women Online. I wouldn't get paid, but if they accepted it and put it in their online publication, that would be some exposure and something else I can include in my resume. We'll see how it goes though; I need to write the thing first.

So, that's all for now. Hopefully I'll have something better to write soon, something more God-centered, God-focused. Have a Christ filled day!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Check Out This Post

Please go over to one of my online knitting friends' blogs. She is a wonderful Christian lady and has posted her testimony. Warning: bring Kleenex!

Knitting and Praying

Saturday, November 11, 2006

In Memory...

In Memory of Our Veterans (click the title of the poem to learn more about Lt. Col. John McCrae, MD)


In Flanders Fields

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Happy Tuesday!

I know I haven't been keeping up with this as much as I should (same as with reading other blogs). I am just waiting for something exciting to talk about - but things remain boring. But at least they remain, right?

School is going fine, though I still am not enjoying the children's lit class I'm taking. I am loving the Effective Writing and TESL classes though, so all is not lost.

I am still loving the flute lessons (sorry, but no sound bite yet - I need to get better before I let anyone hear me play, LOL). The teacher told me last week that when we learn something, particularly an instrument, we tend not to really notice improvement ourselves. We think we are still struggling along or that we haven't made any improvement. He said, though, that he can hear a lot of improvement in me and that he can tell I am practicing. To be honest though, there are some days when I don't get any practice in. Most days I do practice, and it is generally for at least half an hour. I am still trudging along with trying to get those high notes - they can be hard to reach. I do great when I'm practicing at home, but when I get in front of the teacher and try to do them for him, I mess up a lot. I told him this and he said that is really normal and happens to everyone.

We had our first real snowfall of the season yesterday. Thankfully it didn't amount to much over a dusting. By this morning though, it was melted away. Tomorrow it is supposed to go to +10C so there is no chance of snow. It'll feel like summer after the last little while of chilly weather we've had. I'm not complaining though. It just saddens me that I can't go barefoot anymore. On the plus side, I get to wear my hand knitted socks I've made this year. I only have 2 pair to wear so far (all other pairs were made for others and have typically been children's size). I have one more sock to make of my third pair for me though - just have to get working on it.

Anyway, that's all for now. Don't want to bore people to death, especially since my readers have dropped off (or at least commenters) since I haven't been writing as often lately. Feel free to check out my knitting blog, Kitten Yarns & Crafts or my writing blog, Ink Scrawls as there are usually updates there - at least on the knitting one.

Have a Christ filled day!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Just A Little Update

I've been doing a lot and doing nothing all at the same time, or so it seems. I've been doing homework, though I still really can't get in the mood to do it. Last week was a busy one for school. I had to do some reading for children's lit, my regular homework for TESL (though we only had one assignment to hand in instead of two), homework for the writing class for both Tuesday and Thursday, plus a 6 page essay that was also due on Thursday for the writing class. I don't know if I did that right or not...I just did it up the way I would normally do a term paper (don't know if she was looking for it to be done similar to the little one paragraph "essays" we do each week or not). I guess I'll find out tomorrow or Thursday...

I went to a babyshower for my cousin on Friday. That was a lot of fun. She's not due until December 18th. If you'd like to see the cute little ducky hat & socks (plus another pair of baby socks) I made for the baby, you can click over to my knitting blog, Kitten Yarns & Crafts to see them. They went over very well, and everyone thought they were adorable!

On Saturday, our church held a "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?" event. People sign up to either host or be a guest, and then the guests are assigned a host to go to that night. The guests find out early on the day of the event where they are to go to for supper, and the hosts don't find out until the guests show up. The house I went to was a young couple with three small children (ages 4, 2, and 8 months), and they had three guests - me and an "older" couple. The meal was great - well one part I didn't particularly like, but I ate it anyway. It was a cauliflaur (sp) and cheese soup. I don't like cheese and I didn't know what to do. I ate it, and prayed the entire time that I wouldn't gag. Thankfully I didn't. Other than that though, it was great.

Anyway, other than doing homework and knitting, I haven't been doing a whole heck of a lot. I've been feeling really lazy since school started, and I don't want to do anything except knit. Weird, I know. I think I need to start exercising to give me some energy and maybe I'll feel like doing something - like homework. Don't know if I am going through a phase or what, but I'm sure that things will pick up next semester when I am taking at two course I am looking forward to - the second half of TESL, and Post Exhilic Writings (which will be on the books of Chronicles) - yeah, I am a Biblical Studies geek, so sue me! LOL!

Anyway, off to do a bit of nothing before doing a little more homework. Have a Christ filled day!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Dramatic Reading

For the Children's Lit class that I am taking, one of the "assignments" we have to do is a dramatic reading in front of children. One option was to sign up and do one some Saturday morning at the local public library. However, that one went fast and it didn't even make it to my side of the room before it was all filled up. The other option was to do them in front of a class of school kids. The prof's wife works at some kind of private type of Christian school some, and we could do our readings there. So, I signed up to do Beatrix Potter (author of Peter Rabbit).

The guy that signed up with me (turns out he's my friend Lauren's brother, which I didn't know until today) has a room mate who is doing some student teaching at one of the public elementary schools in the city. She got permission from the teacher of the class she is helping with for us to come in and do our readings there. The thing is, we didn't do Beatrix Potter. The prof said it would be better for us to do Dennis Lee, author of such poems as Alligator Pie, for this age group (a grade 4 class).

This morning we went to the class and 'performed'. I was thinking that these poems were a little below this age group - to me they would be suited for someone in grade 1 or 2. However, we seemed to be a hit. We had the kids doing actions for Alligator Pie and one other one, and they did two different crafts for two of them, in which they had to use their imagination and creativity. One of the crafts they had to draw what they thought a 'willoughby wallaby woo' was, and the other they took a brown paper lunch bag, googly eyes and yarn cut in strips and had to decorate the bag to represent what they thought an 'ookpik' was. These were things mentioned in a couple of different poems.

Anyway, the kids seemed to enjoy themselves, and the teacher of the class said that they loved it (I guess she knows her class well), so I guess we did well. She also said herself that we did great and we should get an A+. The only thing left now is for her to email our prof and let him know how things went and then we'll get our marks - probably in class on Tuesday evening.

Things all turned out well, thankfully. I was nearing panic mode last night - not because I was afraid of getting in front of the kids and doing these poems (I wasn't), but because I was worried that the kids would be bored out of their gourds and think this was a bunch of nonsense. I prayed, and let me tell you the Lord helped.

I haven't been very 'faithful' to Him lately (not spending time with Him), which is NOT good. However, He still helped. Isn't He awesome?! Even when we aren't faithful to God, He is still faithful to us. Thank You Lord for helping me get through all of this!

Anyway, I'm off for a little nap. I was up rather early this morning (6:30) and I am not used to getting up at that time. I get up later now because I don't have any morning classes, and I tend to stay up late because I'm a natural born night owl. Oh well, c'est la vie! It all works for me - for now.

God bless and have a Christ filled day!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Thanksgiving

Well, it's thanksgiving weekend here in Canada. Monday is the holiday, but we had our big turkey dinner today because my brother, his girlfriend/fiance (not sure just what they are) and their son could only do it today. Tomorrow they are going to her grandparents for supper, and my brother has to work on Monday.

It was a nice meal, and mom outdid herself with the pies again. She is an awesome pie maker - me, I've never made one yet. I offered to help make them one holiday, but she said she'd rather me not help just in case they didn't turn out...thanks Mom! LOL! We pretty much only have pie at holiday times, and occassionally throughout the year, but then it is usually something like lemon merengue. Oh well, I'm not fretting.

I'm thankful that my family was able to gather around today, and I'm thankful for our health. I am thankful for my little nephew who now lives in Nova Scotia (with my brother and his girlfriend/fiance) and I won't get to see as often - the next time probably being Christmas. I am thankful for having enough food, a house to live in, and warm clothing. I am just thankful for so much!

So, what are you thankful for?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

It's Been A Long Time

Yup, it sure has. I've been doing school work a lot and some knitting (though not as much as I'd like to be doing). So far I am enjoying my courses, though the children's lit doesn't do much for me. The class is somewhat interesting, but it's just not my thing I guess. At least right now it isn't. I just don't feel the "excitement" I have in the past for going to school...

My writing class and the TESL class are great. I am really enjoying both of those, and I think they both help with each other - grammar wise at least.

While I don't feel weird about telling people I didn't get into education anymore, I still feel kinda weird being there...don't know why, but I'm getting used to it some - probably because I'm getting used to the classes, and there are other people in those classes who are closer to my age and even older. I think that helps some.

Well, not much to say at the moment. I'm just getting home from class not too long ago so I'm a little tired from that (I don't particularly care for these nearly 3 hour long evening courses). I hope to have more to write soon. Just wanted to let you know I'm still around and haven't given up on the blogging.

Have a Christ filled day!

Friday, September 08, 2006

TESL & more

No, don't worry, I'm not writing in tongues with the title of the post. TESL stands for Teaching English as a Second Language.

I had my first class last night (it's one of those one day a week for nearly three hour courses), and sounds like it is going to be a good class. There are supposed to be about twenty-three people in the class, but I think there were only about twenty there last night. Not sure if the others ended up dropping the class or if they just didn't show up.

Anyway, there are three books we are using, one is a grammar workbook which the prof wants us to use to help build our own grammar skills. It will also help us with the teaching of English. The other two are the texts we will read and use as the course goes on, though I haven't started reading them yet.

Each week we will have a two page (double spaced) essay of sorts to write and hand in the following week, as well as some sort of worksheet that we have to make up. The worksheet needs to be made up in such a way as though you were presenting it to a certain level (such as beginning learners of English, advanced, in between, etc.). The prof is going to have a sample on line for us to follow along with a couple of examples (which he's supposed to put on some time today). I'm not really following what we are to do for that just yet, but I think once I see the examples it will help. Also, I think reading the book will help with it as well so once I get the chapters read it should become more clear to me.

The other class I had yesterday afternoon was Effective Writing. If you want to read a bit about that, you will find my write up on my writing blog,
Ink Scrawls (click the title of the blog to take you there).

I felt really odd yesterday at school. I felt like I shouldn't be there because I have already graduated. I saw some people that I know, but no one has asked me if I never graduated or if I'm in (or not in) the education program. Still, I just really felt like I didn't belong in the school. I know there is nothing wrong with taking a few extra courses, but that was just the general feeling I was experiencing. It will go away after a few weeks I'm sure (I say weeks because I only go on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I'm not back there til next Tuesday).

On the church front, Kristina and I are slowly getting things going for the mid week program. We have a name for the group picked out, a motto, a logo, a key verse; as well we have some leaders set up in certain areas. We're still looking for people to help with the dramas, music, van drivers, and the nursery.I was talking to the associate pastor on the phone for about half an hour last night discussing some things with regard to the mid week program, and he's given us a few names of people he highly recommends for some areas. He also gave a couple of names to contact to see if they could help us in the areas of van driving and nursery. (Kristina if you're reading this, I sent you an email - had one bounce back saying your spam filter wouldn't let it through so you'll have to fix that).

We still need to come up with an opening as well...for the first week. We have a bit of an idea but we need to work on it or see if we can get someone to help us come up with another idea or something...it's still a work in progress. We should probably do this soon (maybe after church on Sunday Kristina?) because we have less than a month til the first night of the program.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

School Time Again

Today was registration day at school. I was already registered for my courses, but needed to go and get my mailbox key, books, and a couple of other things.

It felt totally weird being there when most of the people I've known from university have graduated and aren't there anymore. I felt - well almost alone. Yes, I know I wasn't alone because Jesus is with me, but I'm meaning alone in human terms. Sure there were a few people I saw that I knew, but none that I hung around with or was really "chummy" (did I just say that?) with. I was also a little afraid of people asking me if I was going into the education program and having to say no. That's pride I guess. One guy I knew did ask me, but it wasn't bad saying no because he wasn't all fake sympathetic and stuff. He thinks it sucks that I didn't get in and doesn't agree with some of the ways the school runs or does things. Thankfully he was the only one that said anything. I got there pretty early so that I was close to the front of the line (I didn't go to the information session like most of the students did), so maybe that's why I was lucky enough to avoid the question. I was also in and out pretty fast because I didn't do some of the stuff most people would have - like getting a year book photo taken or buying a year book or signing up for various committees and what not.

So after that (which didn't really take that long), I went and bought my books. One class, Children's Literature only had one text book, but it cost around $90 (or more). My Effective Writing has two books I believe, and my TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) class has three books. In total the cost was between $250 and $300, though I think it was closer to the $250 price range.

Although classes start tomorrow, I only have classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I don't need to go in until Thursday afternoon. Then I'll come home for a couple of hours and go back at 6:30 for a nearly three hour course. Next Tuesday I'll have the same times for classes (the one in the afternoon is a two day a week class), but the only difference is that the evening class, which is another nearly three hour one, is a different subject. Those evening classes are each one day a week classes.

I'm looking forward to my classes I guess. For awhile I wasn't - probably because these courses aren't part of my degree. The Children's Lit class isn't exciting me too much, but the other two I am really looking forward to.

Anyway, I've rambled on long enough. I'll let you all know how things go at Thursday's classes! God bless, and have a Christ filled day!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Age - It's Just A Number

I started doing a Bible study on my own last week. I need to be fed. Basically all I am getting right now are the weekly sermons. They are great, but I need more.

I have been feeling stagnant in my walk lately, and that is not a good thing, so I went to one of the local Christian book stores last week and picked up a few Bible studies that sounded interesting to me. The one I am working at now is called "Living With Passion & Purpose" by Elizabeth George, and it's on the book of Luke. I have only done six chapters so far (I'm trying to do one every day, though haven't for the last two days), and while I am finding it helpful, I still feel like I need something a little more indepth - you know, something that makes you feel challenged, something that makes you look at yourself in a deeper way. I really don't know what kind of studies there are out there that would do this, but I'm keeping my eyes opened.

This study has helped me be more conscious in one area that I struggle with. You see, age is a real issue for me. I don't know why that is so - although I have a little inkling as to why it could be. You see, I am thirty-seven years old and I am not married and have no children. Some would not see this as being a problem, and would tell me "Well, there is nothing wrong with being single, just think of all the work you can do for the Lord!" Fair enough. Yet, there are others who wonder why, at my age, I am not married nor have any children. While I hate both of these responses, the latter one bugs me the most.

I have to wonder if the stem of my problem with age, is the fact that I am still single with no kids. I wonder if I were married and had kids (or even just married), would my age still be a problem? It's not that I feel I am too old to do things for the Lord, though to be honest there are times when I think I am too old to do something. You see, I look back over my life at what I have or have not accomplished. Not too much. I feel as though I have wasted a big part of my life - though to be honest, the majority of the past was lived in a non-Christian manner.

Now, I know that I can't dwell on the past and that Jesus has forgiven me of the sins I've done then. I know I need to focus on the present and do what I can for the Lord, with His help and provision.

I guess I feel like time is running out - to get married to the right one, to have children. My clock is ticking BIG TIME, and this is a real issue for me. I've taken it to the Lord, cried out to Him - you name it. I will admit that there have been times when I have cried myself to sleep over this, have been almost obsessed with this matter. Not good, I know.

I was talking with a friend the other day, and she said something that made a lot of sense and it kind of hit home. What she said was that she is learning (or has learned) to wait for God's timing in bringing her a husband if He chooses. I can't explain it as well as she did (hopefully she'll be kind enough to leave her explanation in the comment section, even if only as a reminder to me), but I don't want just any husband. I want the husband the Lord has for me, the one He wants to bless me with. I want His best, not second best.

To get back to the Bible study, one of the "questions" was to list a truth that I took away from that chapter (it was chapter 1), and what I said was that I need to remember that age does not matter, and God can use anyone to further His kingdom regardless of his or her age. See, it's not just in doing God's work that I need to remember this, but in everyday life.

Age is just a number and it doesn't matter if everyone around me is younger; it doesn't matter that at age thirty-seven I am doing or learning things most people would have started as a child or teenager (such as taking up a musical instrument, going to university). It doesn't matter if most everyone I know is either married, has a child, or both. It doesn't matter - but some times it does matter to me.

I haven't mastered this yet, but I'm working on it and it might take a long while to change my thinking and feelings around; but I'm trying. I'm trying to put my focus on Jesus and be obedient in my walk, seek Him in all situations, etc. Again, it's not easy - but no one ever said the Christian walk is a piece of cake!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Sound of Music

I went to my third flute lesson last night. The time simply flies by so quickly! Of course the lesson is only for half an hour. I could sign up for an hour, but that would cost double and since I'm no longer working, that is a little more than I care to spend on it right now. The teacher did say that in the future, as I start getting more into it, I could sign up for an hour. We'll see.

He told me last night that he can tell I'm practicing because he's seen improvement already - said that a lot of his students (regardless of what instrument they are learning) come in and haven't improved so he knows they aren't practicing. He said it doesn't matter if you only practice for fifteen minutes a day, the important thing is to practice every day. There are a couple things I need to keep working on though, but they are normal things that people starting out playing the flute need to work at.

One of the things is my breathing. I'm not taking deep enough breaths so that will affect the playing. If you take deep breaths you can play more notes and the result would be a smoother sound. The other things is to hold my flute a certain way. I tend to want to hold it so the hole you blow into is facing me. It needs to be facing more upward. He told me that can be corrected by standing in front of a mirror some - that way I can see how it looks.

I am really enjoying playing the flute so far! I'll write more on another topic later - hopefully tomorrow. Since this is a Christian blog, I want to have more content geard toward the Lord. Anyway, have a Christ filled day!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Prayer Needed for Rebekah

Not sure if everyone is aware of this or not. I just came from Rebekah's blog and they need some major prayer between now and Tuesday. Please stop by and read what is going on and say a prayer as well.

Rebekah's Blog

Edited: The link to Rebekah's Blog is now fixed.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Whew!

I think I'll have a couple of days to unwind. I've been on the go pretty much since last Thursday and I'm feeling like I need a little break to refill my tank.

Last Thursday, Friday and Saturday I attended a leadership summit conference with about seve others from my church. This is an event held every year, but it's the first time I have attended. It is telecast live from the Chicago area (forget the exact name of the place) and is put on by the Willow Creek people (Bill Hybels is the 'famous' pastor).

There were three speakers that I really enjoyed the most - Bill Hybels (I think that's how his last name is spelled), James Meeks, and Wayne Cordeiro. They all spoke with regard to church type leadership, and this really got me motivated and inspired. The other speakers were mostly the 'business' type leaders who apply leadership in business principles to church. Those didn't speak to me so much.

They also had an interview with Bono from U2, though it was prerecorded and not live like I had assumed it was. No biggie though. It was interesting, though it wasn't really leadership geard; it was of a more mission type focus. It was good though.

Saturday afternoon, Sunday and all day today I got together with Kristina to work on stuff for the kids mid week program that we both coordinate together. There is still quite a bit of work to be done, but we now have a name, key verse, motto, and logo. We also got together with a couple of the leaders - well really one leader and one who has experience in picking curricula(only 2 people showed up which was disappointing, though God brought the ones that we needed to help us make some decisions and choices - we see them as key people). We were able to finally choose the curriculum for the program, and now we need to get some people in place and what not. Like I said, there is still a lot of work left to be done.

So, if you don't mind, I would appreciate if you'd pray for Kristina and I as we continue getting things put into place, making phone calls, meeting with the pastor, and all that is involved with directing the program. This is the first time for both of us doing anything like this, and we could both certainly use your prayers.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Last Day

Today was my last day at work for the summer. It really doesn't seem like all that long ago I started work, though it was at the beginning of May. In some ways it has flown by, yet in others it has dragged on and on.

Remember earlier in the summer when I was trying to figure out what to do with my life since I didn't get accepted into the education program? Well, I have decided to go back to school for another year and take some teachable courses (English and History) which will help should I go into the education field next year.

The courses I have chosen for my first semester are Children's Literature, TESL (teaching English as a second language) and a writing course. Second semester will be the second half of the TESL, Maritime History after 1800 (which is the history in my neck of the woods), and Post Exilic writings. This last course is a religious studies course, and I took that should I decided to pursue a third avenue - which I won't be able to do until fall 2007 anyway.

To review, my three avenues of possibilities for my future are:

1. To get my Education degree and become a teacher
2. To teach English as a second language overseas
3. To get my M. Div. (Masters of Divinity)

With regard to the education degree, the door was closed for that this time around. I don't know if God is closing it because it isn't the right time, or if that is an avenue He does not want me to go down. In all honesty, I don't know if I want to teach school anymore. I'm not sure if that is because of my rejection in the program, or if God removed that 'desire'. I'm still praying on it.

The TESL course I am teaching will give me a certificate and qualify me to teach English as a second language here in Canada, or around the world. This is something I am thinking I might do (for a year at least) to help me pay off my student loans quicker. I have been talking to some people who have done this, and they say it is a great way to get the loans paid off. Again, it is something I am praying about.

My third avenue was suggested to me by my pastor's wife. She told me this past July that she and her husband (the senior pastor) had been discussing my future and what I should do. They think I should go and get my M. Div. in Christian Education - I guess it's something they think I would be good at.

When I was worried about what I could do with a BA in Biblical Studies, someone commented (I believe it was Joe from Joe's Jottings) that I could/should do Christian Education. At the time I didn't know anything about that. We have a Board of Christian Education at church, which I am on, but there is more to doing CE than this. So, I wondered and thought that maybe God was confirming this suggestion for me when the pastor's wife mentioned this out of the blue when she heard me tell someone I didn't get into the education program.

I've contacted the university where I would have to go to get my masters, and have found out that it is a three year program and I would be living off campus - ain't no way I am going to live in a dorm at my age! Besides, even if I was to live on campus in the dorm that would be calculated into any student loan I would get.

The program, after three years, would put me roughly 21,000 dollars further into debt. That doesn't include rent, groceries, bills, etc. So, if I were to add that on to what I currently owe, I would be looking at nearly 50,000 bucks worth of debt when all is said and done. OUCH!

So, if I can get my TESL certificate and go teach somewhere like Korea or Japan I can get my current loans paid and save and do my masters. From what I've been told, if I do this my airfare to wherever I go would be paid as well as accomodations. The people I've talked to said that if you live off the money they give you to live off, you can bank your wages and pay off the loan. So, in theory if I am there a year (which is generally the length of contracts - they do it on a year by year basis) and can live off what they give me for accomodations and food, I would/could get about 2000 a week for teaching. I could save that up and in a few months have enough to pay off my current loan. Then, if I could save the rest, I could get partial student loans to get my masters and have some money for rent and stuff. That is if it all works out that way. It would be hard to do though.

But, like I said, I don't really know what avenue God is leading me down. I am continuing to pray about it and unless I end up getting into the education program for the fall (I've been told I'm on the waiting list) I think what I will do is the latter - teach English overseas for a year and then go get my M.Div in Christian Education. I think I will have to do more research into it because I have no idea the pay would be like in something like that.

Anyway, this post is way longer than I had thought or intended for it to be. I'll end here so I won't bore you all to death. I'm still praying about my situation, and if you think if it please pray for me as well.

God bless and have a Christ filled day!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Putting Action Behind The Thoughts

Recently I have been observing other people, their walks (with the Lord), their successes and whatnot. I have to admit that several times I have felt jealous that I could not do something they could, or that I haven't achieved success in some aspect of my life like they have. Then, the wishes started rolling in...you know, the "I wish I could sing like her" or "I wish I was as smart as he is" or "Why can't I have what they have" and so on, and so on...

I have been reading Steve Sporre's blog, Following God's Will, recently (and in the past as well), making note of just how God has been working in and through him. Here is a young man who has gone through some struggles in his life and his walk and has come out on the other side as a stronger man. He openly and freely talks about his past in a book that he has written (he's now looking at publishing) and let me tell you, it is powerful! This man is also a talented musician and has a CD that is coming out (check out his blog for detail of how you can order).

Then, I read about Katie who is also open and honest about her walk, her struggles, her desire to serve the Lord. From the various entries I have read over the last I don't know how long, this woman loves the Lord and seeks Him in the different situations she faces. She claims that she is known around the world for falling down. She is a funny lady as you can witness by reading her blog, and can laugh at herself as well - not everyone can do that or is at least willing too...

Stephanie is someone whom I have had comment recently on my blog. We seem to visit a lof of the same blogs and she has a request. Visit her blog to read about her upcoming mission trip if you haven't already. She will need prayers, and if you can help financially with a donation, she has a way that you can contact her as well.

And then there is my best friend, Kristina who is so awesome and just inspires me all around. She is such a godly woman who is constantly seeking the Lord and His will in her life. She's a single mom who has done an excellent job raising her six year old daughter. Someday, when I have kids, I hope to be as good a mother as Kristina is.

I guess where I am going with this post, is that I see (or read about) people like the ones I have mentioned (there are tons more out there though) who have inspired me recently. It might not be in something specific, but generally with what they have done. What I have noticed lately, is that a lot these people (and others) don't just sit around twiddling their thumbs and simply wish they could do something.

No, they actually put action to their thoughts. Like Steve, for example. He didn't just think about writing a book or making a CD, he did something about it. Stephanie is being obedient by following the Lord's direction in going to Jamaica. Kristina isn't all talk, she's action - she does things. She wants to learn the keyboard and/or guitar, so she does. She wants to sew her daughter a halloween costume instead of buying one, and she does (when her sewing machine isn't being temperamental that is!). Katie actively seeks the Lord in her walk, listens for His guidance with regard to her future.

I have been wishing lately that I could do certain things. For example with the flute, I have loved the flute for the last six years, and have wished I could play for the last five. So, I have decided to do something about it. I don't want to simply wish I could play, I went out and purchased a second hand flute and signed up for lessons.

I have been wishing that I was further along with my writing. Usually I get the inspiration at work when it isn't possible for me to write anything, and when I get home I feel too tired to do anything. So, my plan is to sit and write something - even if it's only a paragraph. At least that way I am working on it and not just wishing that I was doing it.

I have to admit that I have also been wishing my relationship with Christ was better, that I was closer to Him again (I have been letting this slip, and that is not a good thing). I have been asking Him to help me with this, but you know what...I have to actually do something about it. I am the one that has to open the Bible and read/meditate. I am the one who has to pray. I am the one who has to do the footwork. Like any relationship, if you want it to be successful, you have to work at it.

So, thank you to all those who have inspired me and helped me to see the difference between wishing and being able to do something. Thank you for allowing the Lord work in your life, and then share these ways. Thank you for talking about what you are doing in your lives, no matter what it is, so that the Lord could use these things to drive home the fact that if I want something I need to do something about it and not simply feel jealous that I don't have it or can't do it. I need to get off my butt and put the action into my life.

I need to just do it, not wish it. I need to put the actions behind the thoughts in order to accomplish things.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Flute Lesson

I had my first flute lesson tonight, and I was a little nervous before I got there. However, that didn't last very long. I arrived early and the student ahead of me was finishing up his guitar lesson. This kid must be no older than 10, and he is so good. It turns out his guitar teacher is my flute instructor.

I knew going into the lesson that my teacher would be male because when I signed up for the lessons, the person I was talking to told me what his name was. However, I don't know what I was expecting age-wise; maybe someone in his thirties or forties I guess. That wasn't the case. I think this guy is in his early 20's, not more than 25 I would say (he looks younger than 25 though). That's not a problem though, just wasn't what I was expecting.

Tonight's lesson was the basic beginning type. He told and showed me how to breath properly, how to sit, how to hold the flute - making sure my left elbow is up and out and not down, how to put the flute together correctly which I think I was doing. He also showed me which keys were what notes, from E to E (I knew most of these already from my practicing so far). He showed me how to achieve the higher range notes, as well as the lower range notes, and where they are on the lines of music (which I knew - at least for the basic octave). I think this is all that I can recall offhand. He wrote everything down for me though so that I would have the info. I'm going to keep all my sheets, anything he gives me for practice, in a binder or something to keep it all together. That way I won't be apt to lose it.

I am to practice 15 - 30 mins a day with what he showed me on the flute and next week he said we would start doing some tunes. I am expecting simple songs - probably like Mary Had A Little Lamb or that sort, though he never said anything about this. I don't mind though, because I have to start somewhere right?

Anyway, I'm off to finish working on a chapter that I am contributing to a book that several of the people from Faith Writers is working on. Gotta get it submitted tonight - though tomorrow is probably when I'll get it in. The one in charge said that submitting it a day or so late is fine though. It's not the final submissions, so she said not to worry too much about getting it in late. I've got most of it done though, just hoping to add a little more and do some tweaking first.

Hope you all have a Christ filled day!

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Sound of Music

Ok, it doesn't sound like music yet, but I have been practicing on the flute all week (except yesterday because I was out of the house til late). I am following that book that I got that teaches the notes and what fingers to hold down. I now know the B, A, G, C, F, and E notes. So far the "music" is just a simple one line of several notes that doesn't sound like any song at all type of thing. You know, the practice lines that help you learn which fingers to hold down for the right notes. I'm still rather slow and reading the music, but it is definately improving and my goal is to not stoop to writing the note letter above it in the book.

I also called for flute lessons on Wednesday and set up an appointment to start. I will be going on Monday evenings from 7 til 7:30 (it's only half an hour, but should the student want an hour you can schedule it...you still have to pay for it though, so basically it would be double the cost of the weekly 1/2 hour lesson). The guy that teaches is away until next Thursday and he doesn't do any teaching on Friday's in the summer so that he can go away on the weekends if he desires to. That's ok with me though, but I had originally wanted to go on Fridays. I could probably change the day once the summer is over though, should I choose to do that.

I start on July 31, and the next week is a holiday here so the place is closed. I think I might see if it's possible to book for Tuesday evening that week so that I can get one in. I don't know if he'd give me double the practice work for the two weeks, or if I would just be a normal amount to practice and just do that for the two weeks.

What I mean is if, for example, in one lesson I learned two notes; that week I would practice those two notes and the next week learn two more. So, would he give me four notes to practice instead (since I would be missing a week because of the holiday). I am thinking probably the first one. But like I said, I'm going to see if I can get a class for that Tuesday or Wednesday so that I don't have to miss a week. It all depends on what they have available.

I can't wait to start the lessons - I'm psyched! I just wish it was this Monday I was starting and not next, but I can't do anything about that. I'll practice these few notes though and work on recognizing the notes on sight and not having to pause to figure out what they are first. I also have to practice counting the beat better. That is slowing me down because I am finding it difficult to think 1-2-3-4, and play the note while counting and trying to think of what the next note is. I know, it will come with more practice though. I just wish I could practice a song...just need to find some that have only the notes I know so far lol.

So, I'll leave it here since this has turned into a longer post than I thought it would be. Have a Christ filled day!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Make A Joyful Noise

Yesterday I did something that I have been thinking of doing for the last five or six years. I bought a flute. It's second hand (much cheaper than a new one) and it works fine to the best of my knowledge.

I love flute musice and I especially love when people at church get up and play. That is where I tend to hear most flute music - though I have heard some classical music on the flute and enjoy that too.

I also bought a finger placement chart so that I will know what keys to hold down for each particular note - though to be honest, I am finding it hard to understand. I'll need to ask someone who knows the flute to explin it a bit to me. I think I know how it works, but I'd like to ask for confirmation sake.

I got a book to learn to the notes and all as well. I know the main notes on the staff, but not by sight. I have to stop and figure out what each one is using the Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge saying, as well as the FACE for the ones on the spaces between the lines. I want to learn to read the music by sight better as well (I know, it comes with practice) so that I don't have to write the corresponding letter above each note.

I've practiced last night and tonight (about 45 mins each night), and if I am doing things right, I know which keys to press to get B, A, G and C. I'm still slow, but that is because I'm just learning.

I'm going to call and see if there are music lessons offered in the summer and sign up. If there aren't any, then I'll have to wait until the fall. I hope there are summer lessons. A friend of mine was taking guitar lessons and she was able to take them during the summer, so I hope the flute is offered this time of year as well.

I was also looking on line last night for free sheet music for flutes - preferably Christian (worship and praise, hymns, etc.) music. From my understanding (one of the youth at church plays flute and she told me this) you only use one line of music, unlike where you use two for playing the piano. I don't know then if I could use any music, or any music writen for other instruments or if it has to be specifically for the flute.

So, this is my new learning adventure. Right now it doesn't sound like much - the music that is, but it's a joyful noise in my mind. I want to play for the Lord and glorify Him through music. I guess it's never to late to learn something new. I just wish I had started before now so that I could play right now...but I just need to give it time and I'll soon be playing! I am not musical but that is because I've never really played anything. I know I need lessons because I do bettter when I am under the pressure of having to have something done by the next week, and know that I need to practice for then. If I do it on my own, I tend to procrastinate and stuff...

Hey, I just thought; Kristina...you practice the piano and I'll practice the flute and someday maybe we can play a duet during the offering at church, hehehe!

Hope everyone is having a Christ filled day!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

I'm A Director

My friend Kristina and I will be the new directors (I think that is the unofficial title) for our church's mid week kids program. She is really the main one and I am helping her. This is new to both of us and I know that I am apprehensive because I don't know exactly what is involved...

We have gotten together with the lady who was in this spot for the last couple of years, and she had helped us in letting us know who (at least so far) has agreed to be leaders and helpers for the next year. We'll have to contact these people again to make sure they are still going to do this, as well we will probably have to contact new people to see if they can also help.

We are going to have to decide on special events (maybe things like skating, swimming, a fun day, etc.) that we might have. Those aren't all that often though, just two or three times a year I think. Anyway, when the time comes we will have to get these events together.

The other thing is that we are looking into possibly getting a new curriculum. We (as well as the other director) have heard both positive and negative feedback with regard to the one that is in place currently - though the negative feedback seems to be out weighing the positive in my opinion.

I've gone online to look at possibilities, as well, I have some info from one or two companies that have created curriculums (or is that curricula?) from when I attended a weekend Sunday School teacher conference type event last fall. It should give us some idea of what they have though. The only thing is, I'm not sure if any of that would do for a mid week program or not.

Anyway, Kristina and I are going to be getting together to go through all of this. Now, here's where you can hopefully help. Do you have any thoughts/suggestions on a good curriculum for a mid week kids program (ages 2 to grade 5)? Our program has a mix of both churched and non-churched kids, and this is our primary outreach program to kids in this age bracket. Also, what kind of things do your kids programs do? Crafts? Fun events? Plays?

Basically, I am just trying to get an understanding of what works and what doesn't (since all churches and programs are different). Our group has been as large as 45-50 kids I believe, though numbers are usually lower than that...but I could be wrong. Anyway, it's a round idea of what the size is.

Oh, and we are looking into things, this post is just a "c'mon I'm fishing for comments so please respond and give me some ideas as well as boost up the number of comments I get" type of post, hehehe. So, how about it. Got some links or thoughts or ideas or anything?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Another Big Sigh

Well, in regard to my future, I am back at the "I don't know what to do" phase - though I don't think I ever left it. Every time I feel like I'm on track and am heading towards something in particular, another penny gets thrown into the pot and causes ripples on the surface.

I thought I had it figured out what I would do. Then, within the last couple of weeks someone throws an idea my way that is another possibility of what to do. It sounds like a good thing, except it would require me to get a bigger student loan, plus it would be for three years. And on top of that I would need money for rent, etc. because it requires me to move out of province.

I know that God provides for His children's needs. I know that God has a plan for my and in what direction I need to move. But, I do not want to end up owing around $50,000 in student loans when all is said and done. That would mean I would have to pay a good $500-$600 a month on the student loans itself, plus when I finish school I would need to pay rent (I refuse to live with mommy and daddy forever, especially when I reach my 40's, and that's not far off!), need a car and all that other stuff that living in the real world costs.

I hate being in this situation. I mean, I'm glad that the Lord has provided for me in the past, has given me the opportunity to go back to school, etc. I just don't like this not knowing what to do, especially when it comes to the whole student loan issue.

I am praying about this, about what God wants me to do but I'm not hearing anything. I have gotten excited about this second option (which I don't think I could pull off until next year, next January at the earliest), but the whole financial aspect of it hinders me. I can't get any scholarships, because those go to people just out of high school or who have applied for the school earlier on and have excelled in their previous academics (I did ok, but not enough to give me scholarships), and a lot of scholarships and bursaries aren't enough to make a dent into the whole loan issue.

I'm at a point where I have absolutely no idea what I should do. I don't even know anymore if I still want to teach - at least in a public school. I love the Bible and the biblical studies course I took and I love to teach Sunday school to the kids (I'd kind of like to try teaching adults at some time maybe). I just don't know what to do.

I don't hear God's voice. I don't hear what He wants, and I can't sit around too long and just wait because I have to either enroll in school and rake up an even bigger debt load (which could be a struggle to pay off in the end) or find a different job because I can't continue doing data entry (because of my wrists).

I'm trying to be patient, I'm trying to listen for God to speak, I'm trying to do what He wants me to do...but I just don't know what to do next. My heart is feeling very heavy these last few days and I'm trying to give this whole thing to God but I can't seem to let go...

God, help me. Please.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Thoughts From the Patio

It is after nine in the evening, and I am sitting out on the patio with my laptop. A cool breeze wafts past, the leaves of the Little Leaf Lindon tree dancing and waving. A bird, likely a robin, flutters out from the branches, chirping its good-bye as it flys away.

Through the slats of the patio walls, I glimpse the rose arbour with fuschia blossoms in full bloom. Beside it a white hydrangasway. Other colours dot the garden that stretches across the back part of the lot - yellow-orange, red, and lots of green from flowers not yet in bloom.

The sky is still quite light, though off in the distance a touch of pink spreads across the sky in a blush. A few whispy white clouds drift by, and more off in the distance look blue. It will be a little longer before the sky grows dark, but there is still enough light that it doesn't feel as late as it is (though is between nine and nine thirty in the evening really considered late?).

Not too far off in the distance is the highway - the Trans Canada - the cars and big rigs roar past carring their passengers to their destinations unknown. The traffic in the city buzzes around at regular intervals, the din an ever present reminder that there is never really any silence in the city.

God is here. He is here in His creation; He is here in Spirit. As I look around, I am filled with a sense of awe that all of this belongs to Him. The wind does not blow without His permission, the birds do not fly without His help. Beauty was brought about by His very breath, for He spoke all things into being.

I sit here, still on the patio and the blush of pink in the distant sky grows deeper, the sun sets further and further below the horizon and the sky loses much of its light now. The breeze is still blowing, the trees still swaying in the wind. I am filled with peace - peace from the Lord who reigns on high, the Lord of heaven and earth.

Thank you Lord for this day and for the beauty You have created in Your nature. Thank You for Your love, for breathing life into us and calling us to be Your children. Thank You for sending Jesus to die for our sins and to be raised from the dead so that we could be forgiven and given eternal life with You. Amen.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I Am Still Here

I am sorry I haven't been posting much on my blog(s) lately. I just can't seem to come up with something interesting to talk about. I can't even seem to glean something from my Bible readings to post.

Work has been picking up now that people are going off on vacation. For the last couple of weeks we have been working full days (8 hours) instead of around 7 hours each day. An hour doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but it all adds up! And besides, it makes a big difference when your job is sitting behind a computer all day doing data entry...

Three new ladies have been hired at work since I started back. Before I started there were about five who had been hired after the new year. Two of those ladies left - one left because her husband wanted her to stay home with the kids (and they didn't need the money anyway), and the other one just up and stopped coming into work. She never called to tell them she quit or anything like that.

I suspect that two of these ladies recently hired are to replace the two that left, and the other one isn't doing any keying, but only batching (which is just taking the airwaybills and putting them into batches of 50 each - there are things they have to look for and such, so it's not just simplying counting out 50 bills and putting a paperclip on them). I don't think this lady will be working past summer though (she looks young enough to be a student, and they usually hire 2 students each summer to do that work).

My wrists aren't hurting much now that I've found my wrist thingys (I really should learn the name for them) and worn them some. I have also been taking a break from my knitting so I am sure that is helping as well. I do know though that this is a job that I can not do for ever. In fact, I am counting down the days until I'm done this summer because I just can't keep doing this.

Anyway, I'm going to call it an early night tonight because we can go in early in the morning because we are a little behind on the work due to the holiday on Monday and several people being out. I only made it in 15 minutes early this morning, so tomorrow I'd like to make it a little more (not that I want to, but it does help with the pay cheque) than 15 minutes.

Have a Christ filled day!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Sunday, June 25, 2006

It's Sunday...

...and I am soooo bored. I don't think I have felt this bored in a long while. I don't know why I feel this way, but I do.

This morning was the last day of Sunday school until the fall, and the main teacher in the class I helped teach (kindergarten to grade 2) has now moved away with her family. So, this morning I and my helper for next year (I will be the main teacher) did the class. We just had a fun day for the kids, and only 4 were there - one of whom is not a kid who comes to our church, but was visiting his grandmother. Two kids that are normally in the class moved away as their mom was the other teacher. It would have been nice to have a couple more of the regular kids show up, but that's fine. Next year's class will be small anyway because the Sunday school committee is restructuring things and I will only have grades 1 and 2 - that will leave me with no more than 4 or 5 kids unless there are some families who join the church over the summer with kids that age.

This afternoon I was over to my friend Kristina's for lunch (a usual thing for our 'group' on Sunday's) and we watched the third Matrix movie (I loved all 3 of them). The church van was supposed to come and pick us up for service tonight, but the driver forgot us and we didn't get there. Oh well, stuff happens eh. No big deal, but Kristina was supposed to be in the nursery tonight - hopefully they found someone to go in her place.

So, anyway, I'm back home now and I don't know what to do. I don't want to knit or stay on teh computer much longer so that I can rest my wrists, and I don't want to write because I think I have writer's block - well that and I just really am not in the mood to write I guess. I guess I am just in the mood to not do anything. And that is resulting in boredom. Oh well, might just go to bed early tonight and catch up on some sleep since I didn't really sleep all that well last night.

Hope you have a Christ filled day!

P.S. To whomever is doing a search for 'pitbull cat' and coming to my blog, please note that I removed the picture of the drawing some time ago so you won't find it. Besides it was just a drawing that I was trying to do of a cat and the teacher turned it into what looked like a pitbull, and I had posted the picture of it for fun.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Not Much Going On

I haven't been getting many posts on here lately. There really is nothing happening at the moment that is "blog worthy" really.

My wrists have been sore from work - typing all day doing data entry doesn't help. We have to get a certain amount of waybills processed daily, so I push myself to meet that and this past week my wrists have been sore. I haven't even been doing much knitting lately either because of that. I really need to look for my wrist thingys so I can wear them at night and/or during the day some. This is most definately a job that I will not be able to continue doing the rest of my life...

I have a few of prayer requests:

1. My friend Franky (she is a Christian) is going through some rough waters with her job. Please pray for the Lord to give her guidance and wisdom in this area.

2. A local Christian radio station is applying to the CRTC for more wattage so they can reach a wider audience. They have applied in the past and have been refused. Please pray that the CRTC grants them approval for this so that this ministry can reach a wider audience.

3. My ongoing decision/choice as to what to do come fall. I am a little closer to making my choice as to what to do, but I still don't know if it's what God wants.

4. My friend Jean is also going through some rough waters at work (I work with her). Please pray that the Lord will make clear what He wants her to do. Pray for financial blessings for her as she has 2 jobs (1 full time and 1 part time) and is a widow who is having a hard time making ends meet. She is under a great deal of stress and it seems like 'if it isn't raining, it's pouring' in her life. Pray that she will also feel the Lord's arms around her (she's a Christian).

Hope all is well with everyone, and that you are all enjoying your summer so far. Have a Christ filled day!