Saturday, December 01, 2012

A Friend Suggested Vitamin D

I live in the Great White North.

Since the middle of October, we have had snow. It seems like it has snowed many days out of many weeks since then, thought the accumulation doesn't seem as much as I would expect. I think that may be due to the fact that it's a "dry" snow - not the wet, packing kind - and maybe it doesn't take up as much room.  Anyway, it's still more than I really care for. At least it will be a white Christmas!

And, since it's winter, we've also had short days - shorter and shorter each day. Currently, the sun rises above the horizon around 9:10 a.m. and sets around 4:30 p.m. Right now, it's about 8:15 in the morning and it's dark, overcast, flurries, and seems like it's about midnight.

All of this seems to be taking its toll on me. This will be my second winter here, and it seems like my mood is worse than last year. I've been tired, feeling down, homesick, lonely, and have had no energy to do much of anything (haven't felt like doing much of anything lately). A friend of mine suggested that I try taking some vitamin D (that's the one you get from the sun light) and see if that helps. She started taking it when she lived in similar conditions last year and found it helped her. She now lives in the same location as I do, and she's taking it again. She gave me some of her vitamins to try, and I've now taken three (one per day). I don't know how long they take to kick in, but it might already be helping somewhat. I'll keep trying them to see if they help more.

I don't think I'll be heading back home for Christmas this year. It costs so much to fly all the way across the country. I am debating on whether or not I will get a Christmas tree and decorations for my apartment. I kind of want to, but at the same time I don't know if I should. I like having decorations, but it just seems like such an added expense because I don't have any here at all. I didn't buy any tree or decorations last year because I ended up going home for Christmas. I'll wait and see how I feel later in the week...and after I pay my rent, bills and buy some groceries and see if I have money to put towards some decorations.

I've also been up and down in my Bible reading/prayer life again. I really need to dig into the meat of it and stop skimming the milk off the top. If I want to hear from God, find out what He wants, and in what direction I need to be heading, I need to do more than what I have been doing.

I've joined a Bible study recently and have gone to two of them. The last two weeks were cancelled because people were going away or something, and next week is their Christmas get together/pot luck. I was kind of thinking of going, but at the same time, I don't really know anyone there yet and still feel a little uncomfortable. I'm undecided about going, though I really don't think they would mind if I went.  I'll wait and see how I feel on Tuesday (the night they have it).

So, that's just a little update on what's going on lately. Hope you have a Christ-filled day!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Do Not Look At His Appearance

Last evening I was reading 1 Samuel 16, which is about when Samuel goes to Bethlehem to anoint David.

What stuck out to me was verse 7 when Samuel was looking at Eliab and wondering if he was the one God wanted anointed. It says, "But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.""

I've heard that verse a lot, and it does comfort me sometimes when I worry about how I look. It's nice to know that God is more concerned with how our heart looks rather than our outward appearance. But last night it made me think and wonder.

In verse 12, David is brought to Samuel and it says, "So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance..."  If God is not concerned with the outward appearance, why does talk about David's appearance?

I had always assumed that Eliab was a good looking man and that was why God was telling Samuel not to be concerned with his looks (though I believe it mentioned that Saul was a good looking man as well, and quite tall).  But I got to thinking, that even if Eliab was a good looking man, his heart may not have been in the right place and that was what God was concerned about.

I'm still stumped with regards to the whole outward appearance thing though. We're told that Saul and David were good looking, and I assume Eliab as well...but then we are told that the outward appearance doesn't matter. If that doesn't matter, why is it mentioned at all?

Yes, God is concerned with the heart, and obviously, from reading this book of the Bible, we find out that Saul's heart was not in the right place, and David's was. This is ultimately what is more important, but why mention looks at all if they weren't important? What does it matter if any of them were handsome or not?

This is just one of those "things that make you go hmmm?" moments for me last night.


Do you find yourself concerned with outward appearances, either of yourself or others?

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Today Was Picture Day

Since coming back after summer vacation, my BFF and her daughter have been staying with me. My BFF got a job at the school where I teach, and her daughter goes there now.

I only have a one bedroom apartment, but they were staying with me - a tight squeeze, but we managed well and no one killed each other! In fact, I think we all got along rather nicely. On Monday, they moved out into their own apartment - the same building only one floor down. It's been quiet since they left, and I find that I am getting used to quiet again. I enjoyed having them here, though, and they aren't that far away. I'm sure they will enjoy having their own space now.

Today we had picture day at school. When it came time for my picture (not the one with my class, but my individual picture), I wasn't too thrilled about getting it done. I don't like having my picture taken. I'd rather be behind the lens taking the pictures. Anyway, the photographer took several (as all photographers should) and she showed me the last one that she took. Amazingly, I liked it! I never like the pictures of myself - or at least I rarely do - so when I saw this one, I was pleased. I can't wait to get it back!

I've been tired these last few days, and over the weekend I was fighting a cold. It's been weird, because this time and one time not long ago, I was fighting a cold and neither time lasted more than a few days.  I've never had that happen before. I usually get colds for a week or so, not a couple of days. I was talking with one of the other teachers, and she was saying the same thing happened to her. I'm just thankful it didn't last long (I hate being sick...but then who does?). But, as I said, I've been quite tired the last few days and that might be from not getting as much sleep (thanks to the cold meds) or just being run down from the cold. Tonight I laid down on the couch around five and woke up around eight thirty. Hopefully, I'll be able to sleep tonight!

At least the weekend is in sight...

Saturday, September 08, 2012

End of the First Week

School has been in full force since Wednesday of this week. Actually, we started on Tuesday, but we were only there for two hours! This week was spent mostly trying to get the kids into a routine, to follow the rules and procedures for the class (and school) and trying to get accustomed to each other.

I have 22 students in my class this year, 12 are new to the school. So far, they seem like a fantastic bunch of kids, and I really think I am going to enjoy being their teacher this year!

Since being back from summer vacation, I've been attending church every week, and I am finding myself feeling a little more comfortable. I submitted a form to indicate that I am interested in joining a small group/Bible study and yesterday I received an email from the pastor of the church. He said that what I should do, if I know someone there, is to either invite them to join a small group with me or invite myself to the one he/she/they are involved in. If I don't know anyone, then the pastor said he would love to help me connect with someone.

I do know some people there (some of the families who have children at the school where I teach go to this church, as well as one of the other teachers I know from last year), but these people are either married with kids, or belong to the young adult group. I belong to neither of these categories. So, I am going to have to email the pastor and let him know my situation and hopefully he can help me connect.

With regards to my attempt at reading the Bible by the end of 2012, I finished reading Psalms the other day (took me all summer, but I was generally only reading one chapter a day....unless they were quite short), and started into 1 Samuel. I am only on chapter 2 so far, but looking over my list of what I still need to read...I might need to pull up my socks a little if I want to accomplish my goal.

Last night I attended a little "conference" on prayer. They are running more today, but I decided against going as I have a lot of work to do this weekend. I really enjoyed it. We had a half hour or so of worship music which was awesome, followed by a speaker.

The one thing I really got from this was that we all pray differently and that there is no wrong way to do it. If you aren't comfortable praying a certain way, or you don't have the motivation to do it, then try a different way until you find one that works for you. For example, if you try journalling your prayers but you can't keep up with that, then that might not be for you...but if you are the type who needs to keep a list of people and events (not journalling about it, but just something to focus on or help remind you) to pray for, which day you will "dedicate" to praying for specific events/people (i.e. on Mondays you pray for your co-workers, your job, and the government; Tuesdays you pray for your family and the missionaries from your church, etc.) then do that.  I found it a quite encouraging session...and I'm kind of regretting not going to some of it again today.

How is your prayer life? Do you have specific ways you pray or a schedule of when to pray for others? Do you journal? Let me know in the comments - would love to hear about it!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Catch Up

Well, I have been home now for six days. I spent about 7ish weeks back East with my family. It was good to get back and have a chance to relax.  I did a lot of reading (which I wasn't able to do during the school year), went to Halifax twice for three days each time, and just plain vegged.

In Vernon, British Columbia en route to Kelowna
I ended up leaving here (July 3) and driving with a friend down to Kelowna where we were going to a teacher's conference for one day. It was originally scheduled for three or four days, but it got cancelled. My friend knows the man who would have been instructing and she contacted him and asked if he was willing to give us half a day or a whole day (whichever worked for him) since I had booked my flight to leave from Kelowna way back in February when we signed up for the conference.  Thankfully, he was willing to help us and provided us with resources and lots of ideas for this program.

I left Kelowna and reached my hometown (well, hometown from the time I was 10) on July 6th. Thankfully, I there were no problems along the way.  It took me quite awhile to adjust to time zone, and I don't think I ever really did. I didn't mind though - I was on vacation!

As I said, I've been home for six days. Out of those six, I've been at the school for four days attempting to get my classroom ready and prepare for school to start on September 4th. Most of what I've accomplished so far is "grunt work" - cutting, pasting, sharpening pencils, photo copying, etc.

I've also been praying for my students over the summer, and also praying for myself - that I will be a better teacher this year, that I will be more effective, etc.  My BFF accepted a position with the school I'm teaching at, so I've been praying for her and her daughter as well. They are away from all of their family (like I was last year, and still am) and I understand what it's like to be in this situation.

In other "news" (OK, it's probably not technically news...), I've been reading my devotions and Bible pretty much every day throughout the summer. I'm still in the book of Psalms (138 to be exact), but have also read the book of 1 John as well. Three friends and myself started a Bible study (we used to do them together several years ago) towards the end of summer, and we are continuing it online until it's finished. I've enjoyed our discussions and have found them to be insightful.  I'm also looking forward to getting involved in a small group/Bible study through the church this year, and hoping I can connect with others. At the church I mostly attended last year (except the last month or so before I left for vacation) I found it was difficult to connect with anyone. I hope this one is better! I would like to make more friends here, especially since the only people I know are co-workers and my students and their parents (well, as much as you can get to know your students' parents).

This is getting quite long - longer than I intended, so I will end for now. Have a Christ-filled day!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

See You In September!

This is a repost from my teaching blog...

After several date changes, we are apparently leaving tomorrow afternoon to make our way to Kelowna. We'll now take two days to get there instead of doing it in one looooonnnnggggg drive.


I'll be attending a mini conference on Blended Sight Sounds with one of the other teachers from my school. It was supposed to be a three or four day conference, but unfortunately it got cancelled. The other teacher knows the man who was going to be speaking, so she convinced him to give the two of us a half-day version to help us.

Once we get to Kelowna, we'll have a day or so to shop and soak up the sites (though the other teacher, R, is from there and she said she'd show me around since I've never been there), then the conference and an evening to go out for supper and meet up with one of the other teachers from our school who decided not to come back in the fall (she may have a job in Kelowna in the fall, and has one for the summer).

I fly out on Friday, and head back east for the summer. I'm anxious and looking forward to getting back and seeing family and friends.

But, I have a lot to do today to get ready for leaving tomorrow - packing, cleaning up the apartment so that it's spotless as much as possible (a friend of mine and her daughter are moving out here at the end of summer because my friend got a job teaching at my school, and they are staying with me until they find a place), and lots of laundry to do (clothes, bedding, towels)...I had planned on doing some of the cleaning today and some tomorrow (also did a little yesterday), so now I have to get it all done today. I don't think it will take too long though - I can do some cleaning while I have the laundry in at least.

After saying all that, I want to mention that I probably won't be posting a lot, if any, over the summer. I'll be staying with my mom, and she doesn't have internet. The only time I'll be able to get online is if I'm at a friend's place and am allowed to check email, facebook, etc.

I hope you all enjoy your summer!
Blessings!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's Summer!

Well, these last few weeks have been busy with getting things wound down in school, doing up report cards, and finally, cleaning and organizing the classroom, etc. I even took some time to work on overviews and previews for the fall, and get a few lesson plans done up so that I'll have that much less to do when I get back in the fall.

In six days, I head back home for about six or seven weeks. I'm really looking forward to it and to seeing my family and friends. I'm actually leaving here on Tuesday (in three days), but I have to go to Kelowna for a mini-conference with R, one of the other teachers. We were supposed to go to a conference that was about 3-4 days long, but it got cancelled. My friend (the other teacher) knows the man who was going to be doing the conference, and she convinced him to give us a "mini" version for half a day. So, we leave on Tuesday, drive pretty much for the whole day (about 16 hours or something) to get there Tuesday night. We were supposed to take two days to drive down, but now she only wants to take a day to do the driving. It'll be a tiring day, for sure!

R is from Kelowna so she said she would show me around and we will do a little shopping as well. I've never been to Kelowna, so that's why we're doing the whole tourist thing. The next day is our conference, and we also might meet up with M, one of the other teachers who is not coming back to the school in the fall. She may possibly have a job in Kelowna for the fall, so we said we would try to meet up with her and go out for supper. Then, the next day, I fly out for home!

I will be travelling the whole day, and I have about a 4 hour wait in Toronto before I board the lat plane to get me home...at 11:30pm.

Even though I'm so excited about getting home for the summer, I'm also anticipating coming back and starting back to church - the new one I've been attending. I plan on getting involved in a small group, and hopefully that will help get me back on track with my walk. I've been enjoying the new church, have felt more welcome than I did at the other one I was attending for most of the year.

I've been doing good with reading my devotional and the Bible every day. I'm now up to having read 36 books of the Bible - my goal to  read the entire Bible in 2012, since starting in April. I'm currently reading Psalms, and just started that so I'm not too far into it. With Psalms, however, you can read several chapters in one sitting since a lot of them are short. I'm sure when I get to Psalm 119, however, it will take longer to read, lol.

I don't know if I'll get to update the blog over the summer. I may take my laptop with me, but I'll be staying at my mom's and she doesn't have internet. So, unless I take my laptop to a friend's house, or use their computers, I may not get any updates done (another reason why I wanted to get some lesson plans done up before the fall). 

So, for now, I will end and wish you all a fantastic summer. If I don't get to update, I will see you in the fall!

Blessings!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

It's Already June!

In my quest to read the Bible by the end of 2012 (remember, I only started in April), I am now up to having completed 30 of the 66 books! Almost half-way there!  I have no order in which I'm reading the Bible, but I was focusing on the shorter/smaller books first - mostly due to being busy with work and wanting to see progress on this endeavour (I'm an instant gratification sort of girl).

In other news, I've decided to try another church. The one I've been "attending" since I moved here really isn't doing it for me. I just haven't felt connected and still feel like such an outsider. And, because I never felt connected, I didn't go every week.

About three weeks ago, I went to another church. It's one that one of my co-workers goes to, and she suggested a few months ago that I should give them a try. So, I finally did. I must say that I felt a different atmosphere there - friendlier.  That particular day, four of us were there and sitting together (maybe that helped me feel a little more included), and at the end of the service, one of the families from our school came up to A (my colleague) and invited her over to their place for a BBQ (A also teaches their youngest son, and I'll be teaching him next year). They told her she could bring her friends along as well, but I was the only one who went with her. It was very lovely and I enjoyed it. 

I didn't go the next week as I hadn't got much sleep the night before and overslept in the morning, but I did go again last week, and I'll be going tomorrow as well. I am going to inquire about Bible studies/home groups as well, but where it is now June, I would imagine that most will be ending for the summer. Besides, I'm heading back home for the summer so I won't be here then anyway. I would like to join a Bible study/home group in the fall though, so hopefully there will be some that aren't focusing on marriage, raising kids, for seniors, or young adults.

In school news, we have 8 more school days left (not counting weekends). I feel so ready for a break right now, and have lots to do once school ends. I may be moving classrooms, and if that is so, then I'll have to pack up grade 3 related things and move them to a new room (I'm not doing a split class next year, so I won't be taking any of the grade 4 items...unless they are things that I bought or created myself (I'll just store them for the future if I end up with grade 4 in the future).  I also need to organize my things, organize the class, create some lesson plans, and I want to prepare as much as I can before I head out for the summer, since I won't be here until towards the end of August so I wouldn't be able to pop in during vacation to set things up. I'll have about a little more than a week to prepare once I get back, and I don't know if that would be enough time to do it or not. So, since we are supposed to stay until the end of June (according to our contracts), I should be able to get some things accomplished in that time.

What's new in your life? Do you have plans for the summer? Let me know!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I Am Thankful For...

This week, I am thankful for:

1. Friends.

Friday evening I got together with three co-workers and we had an enjoyable evening playing Dutch Blitz. I am getting better at this game, and came in second place, and wasn't too far off from the winner. We had a lot of laughs, talked and ate some snacks.

Saturday, three different co-workers and I got together for supper. We had good food (I had the chicken teryaki (sp?) rice bowl, which was delicious), good conversation and more laughs.

2. The Northern Lights.

Normally when my co-workers and I get together, we don't stay out too late. However, Friday night we left M's place shortly after midnight. I happened to glance out into the distance (we were on the outskirts of the city) and saw what I thought was just the glow from the city lights. I kept looking as I didn't think they were the lights. I asked A if I was seeing the Northern Lights or not, and she said it was. A, D and I stood there a few moments watching. They weren't spectacular and bright, just kind of pale green - almost white. They did dance in the sky a little, shifting and changing.

I've been living here for eight months now, and this was my first time seeing the Northern Lights! I'm able to cross that off my bucket list - sort of. I did re-add it and tweak it a little to now read that I want to see a spectacular display of them.

3. Rain.

I'm thankful for the rain, because it wasn't snow. And, we also need it (the rain that is, not the snow).

Of course there is a lot more I'm thankful for, but it's late and I'm just going to keep this post short. I've had a cold these past few days, though it feels like it may be going away now (hopefully). Wednesday evening my nose got quite stuffy - the way it does when I get a cold; but I didn't feel sick, didn't feel like I had a cold. I felt fine the next day (my nose wasn't stuffy either), but by the end of the day my throat was getting sore. So, I ended up getting a cold afterall. The sore throat is gone now, thankfully, and I'm taking some cold pills and they are helping. Hopefully this cold doesn't last much longer.

What are you thankful for this week?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Not That Anyone Is Reading

For a short work week, it seemed to drag on. Tuesday and Wednesday flew by, but most of Thursday and all of Friday was slower than cold molasses going up the hill backwards. And I don't know why.

I'm thankful this week that my class was pretty well behaved - no problems or anything. I hope it keeps up!

I've been quite disciplined with my goal of reading the entire Bible in the rest of 2012. I've got 22 books completed now, and I'm just about half way through Proverbs. I may have said before that I'm focusing more on reading the shorter books first, that way it will (hopefully) give me the motivation by looking at my list and seeing so many check marks for what I've read. It might help me to keep on going - especially when I muddle through the longer books in the Old Testament.

I'm also keeping disciplined fairly well in other areas in my life, which is also a positive step forward. I'll talk about those things another time, however.

We've been  getting good weather lately, however Friday night and yesterday we got snow! It wasn't really a lot, but any amount in April is too much in my opinion. Today only reached +3C, but it was enough to melt a good portion of the white stuff.

Well, I'm just going to keep this short for now. Hopefully I can update with a much better post next time. I don't have a lot of news, and I haven't read or been inspired lately to write a good post. But, I did want to update my blog - not that anyone is reading, but that's OK.

Have a Christ-filled day!

Friday, April 06, 2012

Thirteen Down, Fifty Three To Go

The night before last I had a difficult time sleeping. I fell asleep around eleven, but woke up about an hour and a half later and couldn't get back to sleep. Thankfully, it's still Spring Break and I don't have to worry about having to get up early to go into work.

After lying there a few minutes, I decided to get up and read to see if that would help me become tired again (like it seems to do lately; I think I need my glasses changed/strengthened, but that's a story for another time). I chose to read my Bible, praying for God to speak to me through His words.

I don't think anything specifically spoke to me, but what I did decide/choose to do was to begin reading the Bible with the goal of finishing reading the whole thing by the end of 2012. Sure, I've missed the entire first three months of the year, but there is still plenty of time. And besides, just within the last month or two I finished reading a few of the shorter books (like 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Philippians, Colossians) as well as just finishing the book of Deuteronomy the other day. So, those will count as well since I finished reading them in 2012!

This is definitely a challenge in which one needs to be disciplined. Some of the books in the Bible aren't all that exciting - at least I don't think they are. I struggle to make it through the genealogies (even though genealogy is one of my hobbies), the book of Numbers, Lamentations, Hebrews...but I try to remember some advice my BFF told me she was given by her aunt one time. She said, "When you struggle to get through reading some of those books, remember that God is in the details."

That's pretty good advice - and so very true.

I should note that this attempt at reading the entire Bible is not one of meditation. It's reading. Yes, there will be times when I sit and meditate on something I read, but the exercise is to read it through. I've done this once before, in my early years as a Christian, and I know I can do it again. I've actually probably read the entire Bible more than once over the years, but I've not kept track or done it on purpose. This is a time that I want to read with the purpose of reading the whole thing from Genesis to Revelation.

Thirteen down (as of this post), 53 to go!

Have you ever read the entire Bible through? How long did it take you? Will you do it again?

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring Break - Day 7

I have enjoyed these last few days, and I'm looking forward to the coming week as well - we have that off too. I found out today that the public schools also have 2 weeks off at this time, so it's not just our school (which is private).

Cross pattern on a chicken egg
Thursday was pretty much spent doing pysanky (Ukrainian egg dying). I did two eggs, and those took the better part of the day, because it is a long process - depending on how detailed the egg is.

I just learned how to do this amazing craft last fall. It's a process of putting beeswax on the egg, dying it, covering the parts you want in that colour in wax and dipping it in a different colour, and repeating the process until you are done.

Here is the end result of the first egg I did yesterday. I got the pattern off the internet, and it was from a colouring page. I used purple (which looks blue here), green, and black. The white is the egg shell.  It's not the best, but remember, I am still learning this art.

My own design on a chicken egg
The second egg is a design I created myself. I used only yellow and black (again, the white is the shell). I'm not really satisfied with this one as it is still looking like a kid did it, lol. But, in order to improve, I have to keep practicing and learning. I eventually want to get really good and be able to do intricate designs, etc.

Right now, I only have a medium sized kyska - the tool used to put the wax on the egg. It doesn't allow me to make smaller lines, so everything looks "big". I plan to eventually get a smaller kyska, but for now, I'll keep using this one. I will have to get more beeswax soon though as the "block" that came with the kit I ordered was small. I thought it was going to be bigger than it was, or else I would have ordered another one or two when I got the kit.

When Christianity came to the Ukraine, they began to incorporate Christian symbols in their work. This is one way I would like to be able to glorify and worship God through, but again, I need lots of practice.

Friday was spent with some co-workers. We went out to the principal's home and had a BBQ and played games with him and his wife. One of the other teachers, R, was babysitting and brought the boy along to play with the principal's son. There were five adults, and the two kids, and we had a very nice afternoon.

Today, I went and finally got my hair cut - it was desperately needing a cut! I also decided to treat myself and get my nails done (gel) as I haven't had them done since 2002. I am satisfied with how both my hair and nails turned out.

***********

Last night as I was reading my Bible, the passage that stood out to me was 1 John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  I first memorized this verse when I was a part of a Bible study in my first or second year as a Christian.

This was a good reminder that God does forgive our sins, but we must confess them to him first.  I think sometimes I "forget" that my sins our forgiven  - mostly because the enemy likes to keep reminding us of them and of our failures, etc. So, every once in awhile, it's nice to get the reminder from the Word, from God, that our sins our forgiven if we ask.

Thank You Lord for forgiving my sins!

Lately, I have fallen a little behind in my disciplined behaviour of reading my devotions and Bible, and praying. I'm not beating myself up for that though, but I am making a more conscious effort to make sure that every day I do my readings and spend time in the Word. I also find that I tend to say a lot of little prayers throughout the day (like if I'm on facebook and see that someone has requested prayer for a person or situation, I will stop and say a prayer at that moment), rather than keep everything for the end of the day and forget something.

I don't think there is any right or wrong way to pray - we just need to do it. And, even though God knows our prayers long before we put them into words, we still need that communication with Him. He wants us to spend time with Him and talk with Him - and it's also important to not just pray, but to listen for His still small voice. I am working more at making prayer a two-way conversation with God, and not just me speaking/praying a monologue. I haven't mastered this yet, but I'm working at improving!

This has turned into a far longer post than I had intended, so I will sign off for now. Have a Christ-filled day!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring Break - Day 4

I didn't do a whole lot today, but that's OK. I wanted to lay low because of my sciatic. I took some muscle relaxers last night and they helped, but I'm still feeling the stiffness/soreness in my leg. I'll take more meds later tonight.

I did do a couple of crafterly things I had planned on doing during the break - using things I bought in GP.

The first photo shows an acrylic painting I did. It was sort of cheating, because the outline of the flower was pre-printed on the canvas. There is a colour picture of what it looks like in the kit, and I just followed that. All the painting (blending, etc.) was done by me - no cheating.

The second photo (to the right) is of a Pinterest creation. In other words, that's where I found the idea for this craft.

I bought a small canvas (which came with the display stand) at the dollar store in GP, affixed some crayons (also from the dollar store) to the top and melted them down the canvas. There wasn't a lot of room, so the wax didn't have much room to run. Also, after looking at it a little later on, I probably should have put more lighter colours in the middle so it wouldn't be quite so dark. That could alter the look of it as well, I think. At some point, I plan on doing this again with a bigger canvas and maybe only using certain colours...kind of like the ones done that I've seen on Pinterest.

I plan on taking this crayon art to school and put in my classroom (on one of the shelves). The kids might like this. I'd be interested to see if they try it on their own (with help from parents, of course) and see how theirs turn out.

While surfing around Pinterest, I came across a verse of Scripture that I long to be used to describe me:

"Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue." Proverbs 31:25-26
Mind you, I also long for Proverbs 31:10-31 to describe me...though most of it describes a wife and mother. My greatest desire is to be a wife and mother, and I want to be the type of woman described in the Proverbs. I'm still praying about this :o).

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Break - Day 3

I arrived home from my two days of "vacation" in GP late this afternoon.

We ended up leaving later than originally planned, but that wasn't any big deal. We also took the scenic route at one point. L wanted to shave a little time off our route, so she took a new way that she'd only travelled once before with her son - while he was doing the driving. Instead of going on the highway, we went down some back roads. L said that as long as we keep going east and turn south at some point, we'd end up back at the highway. And, since we weren't in any hurry or had to be in GP at a certain time, we just enjoyed the trip. And yes, we did keep going east and south and ended up back on the highway just outside of GP - so it all worked out well.

Since we didn't want to spend a whole lot on a place to stay, we opted for a motel instead of hotel. After checking in, we decided this place would not be on a list of "must stay here" places, at least for us. The guy behind the desk seemed rather "hippie-ish" (in looks), which wasn't a big deal. While we checked in, he became more and more unprofessional by talking about parties, drinking, and "ordering" visitors. He started swearing, every other word - not at us but just littered in his conversation - and was extremely unprofessional in my mind. I don't know if this was the owner or if he just worked there, but I definitely didn't feel like he was the type of person they should have at the counter.

When we got to the room and opened the door, we were greeted by an overpowering odor of smoke. Great, they allowed smoking in the rooms! It was disgusting! I didn't think they allowed smoking in rooms now, but apparently in this place they do. It sure didn't help my allergies any!

We made sure to keep the deadbolt on the door, and thankfully we didn't have any problems or worries. I don't think it was a "bad" section of town or anything, but you never can tell. And besides, even if we had been in a hotel, the deadbolt would have been locked anyway.

I got lots of shopping done - 3 tops, a couple of necklaces (not expensive) and some other general things. We also ate supper yesterday at The Keg - the first time I've ever eaten in that restaurant. It was good, but it was a little more than I would have liked to pay for my meal.

So, this evening, my back is lame. I think it's from the sneakers I was wearing. I left the ones I usually wear at school so I brought my running shoes - definitely not made for walking. I'll probably take a couple of muscle relaxers in awhile, and pray they work. I really don't want my back to get like it was a few years ago!

Going to head to bed in the not too distant future since I'm feeling tired from the last couple of days, and once I take the muscle relaxers and they kick in, I'll be even more tired. At least I don't have to worry about getting up early for work in the morning!

It's been a good start to Spring Break. Hopefully the rest will go well, too!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring Break - Day 1

Spring Break has finally arrived! I am in need of a little R & R. Thankfully, we have two weeks for our break, and it includes the Easter holidays too.

I don't have a lot of plans for these next two weeks, but that's OK. I hope to get caught up on sleep (or at least get back to a normal sleeping pattern), work at some hobbies that I haven't been able to do because of being busy with work, and I'm heading to GP with one of the other teachers for a couple of days to do some shopping.

Day 1 - Big, exciting plans include...cleaning up my apartment. Told you it was exciting.

Last night a few of us went out to celebrate the birthdays of two colleagues (one was yesterday, the other the day before). We went to a Greek place that is also a steakhouse. I've never had Greek food, to my knowledge, so I stuck with steak - which I haven't had in awhile. It was so good; I really enjoyed it. One of the girls got a Greek meal, and she had some kind of dipping sauce for the pita bread (and said you could dip anything in it, really). I'm not sure of the name of it, but it has cucumber, Greek yogurt and something else in it. It had a kind of tangy zip to the taste, and I enjoyed it.

Monday and Tuesday are the days planned to go shopping in GP with my friend and co-worker, L. She is driving (it's about 2. -3 hours away). I'm not looking for anything in particular, but hoping to finds a few Spring clothes, or maybe some sandals. The "trip" is also just a way of getting out of town as well, which will be nice.

Well, just want to keep it short for now. I should get to the cleaning (you know, be disciplined in it), otherwise it won't get done. There isn't a whole lot to do (thankfully), but it does need to be done. Maybe I'll reward myself afterwards with watching a movie (The Time Traveller's Wife...read the book when I was in Korea a few years ago and loved that, so hope the movie is just as good), and maybe work on my knitting as well.

Have a blessed and Christ-filled day!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Where Has the Time Gone?

I haven't been too disciplined in writing in my blog for nearly a month. I'm sorry for that.

It seems the last three weeks I have been sick with quite a cold. It seemed to be on the way out after about a week, and then it came back again. And it almost went away again, and came back. I'm at the point of it almost going away - but now I'm thinking there is more than a cold involved. It might be sinuses or allergies included as well. Whatever it is, I wish it would leave! I'm not the only one at work in this situation - there are a few others, and that doesn't include the kids in the school who've been sick as well.

Since my last update, I have been pretty well disciplined with Bible reading and my devotions. There've been a couple of days where I didn't read my Bible or devotion, and one of those days was yesterday. However, I am pleased with sticking to this "routine".

My Bible reading does need to improve though. Several days it only included reading over Ephesians 6:10-18 (The Armor of God) on weekday mornings...because I am finding that these are they days I really need to be covered by the armor. These are the days when I often feel spiritually attacked. So, I read over that passage, and then I pray on the armor so that I am protected. And you know what? It has worked!

Last evening, I went with my friend, R, to a Chinese food buffet. I haven't been to this place before, and one of my other friends recommends the restaurant. I think it's a chain, because R has been to this restaurant in another city. She didn't find it to be all that great, so she was reluctant to go. So we went.

I tried a couple of new dishes - Singapore noodles (I think that's what it was called), and ginger beef. I enjoyed both, especially the noodles. I enjoyed my experience with this place, and I will definitely be going back. Even R found it to be much better than the other one she'd been to in the past. The price was reasonable as well, and that is always a good thing.

While we were at the restaurant, we were discussing losing weight (which we both need to do). We are thinking of going to Weight Watchers this week, probably on payday. I need to be more disciplined in eating better and exercising, so this might be what I need to help in that area.

I originally joined Weight Watchers back in 1994/1995, and was very successful with it. I lost 70lbs and looked and felt great. I kept the weight off for about a year, when I ended up going through some situations that resulted in slowly putting all my weight back on (it was a long process of gaining, it didn't happen over night). I would like to get back to where I was when I was at my smallest, but that is going to take lots of hard work and discipline.

I know I can do it, because I've done it in the past. This time, I plan on including God in the picture as well. I wasn't a Christian the last time I did it (and as a side note, the lady who was the group leader at the time turned out to be a member of the church I ended up attending when I became a Christian - how cool is that!). So, I think by including God in this process, it can only help.

I've been quite busy with work lately, so that has also contributed to my lack of posting. We have our Spring Break coming up at the end of March (for 2 weeks), and I'm looking forward to that. I'm not going anywhere or doing much, but that's fine by me. I can use the time to relax, as well as prepare some lessons for the next semester. I'm also hoping that maybe someone will be going to GP for a shopping day during that time, and that I can tag along. If not, that's OK as well.

So, what have you been up to lately? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

As Though The Curtain Parted

Last week, as I read my devotions (I have been fairly disciplined in that so far this year), I came across a couple of sentences that really spoke to me. They said:


Don't waste energy regretting the way things are or thinking about what might have been. Start at the present moment - accepting things exactly as they are - and search for My way in the midst of those circumstances.*
When I read those words, it was as though the curtain parted and I could now see what I couldn't before.

For several years now, I've often thought and wished that I still had those same feelings of wonder and excitement that often accompanies a Christian when s/he first accept Jesus as Saviour. It's the time when you feel invincible, that nothing and no one can deflate the swelling of your heart as it fills to overflowing with desire to be like Jesus, to make Him proud of who you are, and the fire burns bright and strong.

I wish I could say that I know the exact moment or time when the fire diminished,but I can't. Along the dimly lit path I walked, I was aware of becoming tired and worn out. I wondered if I was actually following the Lord's leading, or if I was setting off down the road and leading myself.

I grew weary. I held back. And instead of calling out for support from the One who leads, it seems as though I let Him go on ahead while I sat to catch my breath. Now, I know that He does not go off ahead and leave us behind; He stays with us and waits. He's there to help carry us, to guide us, to lead us. But my problem is, I don't think I ever accepted His help in that matter. I never asked. And it felt like He left me on my own.

I think what I did was to try and carry on my way on my own merits. I didn't stop to say, "Hey, I'm a little winded here. Can you help me along?" or "Carry me until I catch my breath again." Think of a little child walking beside her father. She's tired from the journey so he reaches down, picks her up, and carries her until she gets her strength back. That's how I felt...only I tried to keep up the pace without being carried. It didn't work very well. And, there are still times in my life when I feel that way - tired and weary on this path.

In the last couple of years I have often thought, ""If only I felt the way I did in the beginning; If only I had the fire I had back then." And that's really the crux of my situation.

I shouldn't be thinking about what it was like then. That's the past and there is nothing I can do about it. If I'm living in the past, I'm certainly not living in the here and now - and certainly not putting my focus on what I could/can be doing for the Kingdom.

As the devotion says, "things are they way they are now" and I need to seek the Lord in my current situation and take it from there. Start fresh and anew. I can't get the past back, and I certainly won't get the fire ignited again if I don't tend to it.

I need to discipline myself into not thinking/worrying about the past, and put my focus on today. God can do great things in and through me if I'd only let Him. And by focusing on the past, I'm not allowing Him to work in my life.


Do you focus on the past, present or future?

* Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, page 23

Saturday, January 21, 2012

His Selfless Act Touched My Heart

Yesterday was my birthday.

When my students found out a week and a half ago that my birthday was coming up, a couple of them asked if we could have a party for it. I said, "Sure, why not." Then the planning began.

"What kind of cake do you like?" One of my grade four girls asked.

"Chocolate, vanilla, or marble." I replied.

The following week I was asked if it was OK if cupcakes were made instead of a cake, because the cake wouldn't be big enough for everyone in the class to get a slice. So, I agreed that cupcakes would be the better choice.

Fast forward to yesterday. A few of my students walked in, wished me a happy birthday and gave me some gifts. Two of them said I'd get my gift from them at the end of the day. Things progressed normally, but during the last class of the day, I received my surprise.

I had taken the 4s up to the computer room (it was our scheduled computer class) to help them get a feel for what the computer portion of their upcoming test was going to be like. When we came back to the class (which would be normally the time for the 3s to go up, as all the students can't be in the class at the same time or the computers don't seem to work), the kids ran ahead of me and I warned them about not running in the halls...again.

As I rounded the corner to my class, I could hear one of them shout, "She's coming!" and someone else requested for others to hide. When I walked in the classroom, they all jumped out (though I could see one of them crouching behind a desk and another trying to hide in a floor level cupboard) and shouted, "Surprise! Happy Birthday!"

The girls "in charge" had been disciplined enough for a week and a half to organize and prepare to give me a little party. They got together to make cupcakes, had some people bring in treats/snacks, and they came up with a very sweet present for me.

These girls (the ones in charge of making the cupcakes) disappeared to the school kitchen to get them, where they had been hid from my view all day, and delivered a specially decorated one for me...and everyone else got one as well. There were a few left over so they took them up to the principal and a couple of others. They also handed me a heart-shaped box in which they had placed birthday messages they had written for me.

It was all very touching, and they certainly spoiled me!

One of my grade 4 boys handed me a homemade card he had been working on during the week. When I opened it, it said to me, "Do you know what I wanted to put in the card? I asked my mom, but she said no because I am saving for a dirt bike." So, I asked him what he wanted to put in it. "I wanted to put $5 in your card because you are saving for a car."

How touching is that! The day before, he had stayed after school to get some extra help with math and we had talked some. He told me he was saving to buy a dirt bike, and I told him I wanted to start saving so I could get a car (since I don't have one here and it's very annoying to not have one).

What a generous boy! He wanted to take some money from his dirt bike savings to help me save for a car. "You don't have to give me your money." I said.

"But I wanted to." He grin was a mile long.

This nine year old boy's selfless act really touched my heart. In a world that seems to be filled with kids always wanting for themselves (not all are like that, but there are many...and adults too), this boy wanted to take $5 from his dirt bike savings and help me. As I said, it was a very touching thought.

Have you ever been surprised for your birthday?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Doing It All At Once

I've been thinking, lately, about my One Word 365 word - discipline.

You see, I tend to be a perfectionist in many aspects of my life and since deciding to take part in One Word 365, I had this overwhelming urge to apply it to every single part of my life...all at once.

Talk about setting myself up for failure!

There is no way that I can be disciplined in every single thing in my life all at once. If I do that, then I won't fully apply the discipline I need. Basically, it would only be done in a half-hearted manner, or I would only do it for a short time before moving on to something else. In the end, I wouldn't really be disciplined at all.

So, right now I am trying to focus on becoming disciplined in a few areas at a time. The first area is in my Bible reading and devotions. As I've mentioned, that hadn't been going too well for me for some time. However, since January 1st when I started OW365, I've read my Bible and a devotion each day. That's 15 days. It's not much, I know, but it's a start.

And that's the important thing - to start. You have to start somewhere, and you're not going to become an "expert" at anything if you don't take those first steps and start whatever it is you are trying to discipline yourself with/at.

Once you start, you need to keep going. Don't give up. Keep doing it until it becomes second nature. If you mess up and miss a day or two, don't give up - start over.

As I mentioned above, I'm not going to work on everything I want to discipline myself at all at once. If I do that, I know I will give up after a short while. Why? Because If I'm not "perfect" at everything from the get-go, then I'll end up feeling like a failure and just stopping everything. I'm only human, and I can only do so much at once.

Now, with some of the areas in my life at which I want to be better disciplined, I can do more than one thing at a time (such as with the Bible readings and devotions...I can work on other things while doing that as well since it doesn't consume every waking moment of my life -gasp!). So, I am also working at becoming more disciplined in my classroom - staying later and doing my work there rather than bringing it home and maybe not getting everything done that I should for the next day (or waiting to finish it up the next day). I can tell you that by doing this (staying later), I feel much more confident in my next day's lessons and I don't feel as stressed out because I can relax once I get home - even if I am now staying until 5:30 each day (school gets out at 3:00). There are some things that I will still have to do at home even after staying for 2 1/2 hours after work, but at least those things don't stress me out.

I can also work at disciplining myself to eat healthier and get some exercise while working on other things. So, I've been taking little steps with this area. I'm trying to consciously eat more fruit and vegetables and less processed foods (so far this hasn't been working as well as I had hoped, but I'm not totally disciplined in this area yet - it's something to continually work on), and walk more - which is a lot easier since I don't have a car now (not my choice, since where I now live it is not very easy to get around without a vehicle...something to save/work for).

Like I said, I'm taking little steps and not trying to do everything all at once. I'm making a list of things that I want to accomplish, things at/in which I want to be more disciplined and not trying to tackle it all at once - after all, there are still 350 days left in the year (or is this a leap year?)!

How are things going with your One Word 365 so far this year?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

And They Thought I Was Cool

Today in Bible class (I teach grade 3/4 in a Christian school), we began a series of lessons on Jesus' miracles. Following the suggestion in the teacher's guide for the curriculum, I conducted an object lesson to talk about this subject.

What I did was take a glass jar with a smallish opening and place some shredded paper (not a lot) inside. Next, I lit a match and placed it inside the jar and placed a hard boiled egg on top of the opening (the jar opening is smaller than the egg). Within moments, the egg was sucked inside the jar! The kids were totally amazed and in awe of what happened. I told them that I had performed a miracle. And they thought I was cool.

Once the actual lesson began, we talked about Jesus and his miracle of turning the water into wine (His first miracle). We talked about how the egg experiment is not actually a miracle because it can be explained with science. You see, fire needs oxygen to burn, and with the egg on top of the bottle opening, it soon prevents oxygen from entering the bottle, and the flame goes out. And, due to the vacuum effect produced in the process, the egg is sucked into the bottle.

The thing with Jesus' miracles, however, is that they can NOT be explained with science. A miracle is a supernatural occurrence, and there is nothing that can explain how they occur. How can you explain water turning into wine? How can you explain spitting in dirt, applying that to a blind man's eyes, which causes him to be able to see?

You can't. That's why it's a miracle.

After my explanation at the end of class, I highly doubt the kids thought I was cool since I hadn't actually performed a miracle for them. I'm sure if I could perform miracles, the kids would probably ask for no school and no homework forever (or something similar). Poor kids, they'll just have to suffer with having to go to school - and having homework.

Have you ever witnessed a miracle? Have you performed a miracle? If so, what was it?

Thursday, January 05, 2012

True Dependence

 I read something interesting this morning in my new devotional that I wanted to share. It said, "True dependence is not simply asking me to bless what you have decided to do. It is coming to me with an open mind and heart, inviting me to plant my desires within you." (page 6 of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young)

So often we (and I include myself in this) decide to do something or work at/on something. We begin working away and then pray and ask God to bless it. Quite often we don't pray and seek what God wants us to do, what He desires for us; instead, we take the plunge first and ask for blessing after. That is totally backwards for us Christians.

We need to seek the Lord first, find out what what He wants us to do, where He wants us to go, etc. After all, it's not about us, about what we want. It's about what He wants. God wants us to do His work, obey His will for our lives. When we set out to do our own fill and fulfill our own desires and then seek God in the matter, we are not depending on Him.

I'm not saying that God won't necessarily bless the things we do, even if we don't seek His will at first, but know that when we are in His will, when we are fulfilling the dreams and desires God has planted in us, He will definitely bless that. If you seek God's will, follow the dreams/desires He has given you, it shows that you are depending on Him and not yourself.

I know I am guilty of putting the cart before the horse, running off ahead and then asking Jesus to catch up, or asking for God to bless my desires rather than what He desires for me. I want to be more disciplined in seeking God's will first, following His desires for me over my own. I'm not even always sure if what I desire is what He desires for me, but that is something I need pray about, something I need to work at.

Do you truly depend on God, or are you like me and tend to run off ahead and then ask for His blessings?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Is It A Habit?

They (whoever they are) say it takes 30 days to make something a habit. I wonder if making yourself disciplined in one or more areas in your life is the same...or maybe discipline is just really another habit?

If creating discipline is like creating a habit, then I've only got 27 more days to go!  It's day 3 and I am feeling drained tonight. But that might just be because I only got about five hours of sleep, started back to work today (after the Christmas break) and left at 5:30.

I've got a couple more lesson plans to do up tonight, for tomorrow, but I'm feeling like I might need to go to bed early. I want to be prepared for tomorrow, so I think the best thing to do is just work at the lesson plans and come up with something - and pray for the energy, clarity of mind and the perseverance and discipline to finish it up before going to bed.

Monday, January 02, 2012

I Looked Up The Meaning

I decided that I would start off my One Word 365 by looking up the meaning of my chosen word, discipline

According to dictionary.com, one of the meanings of this word is: to bring a state of order and obedience by training and control.  This meaning is more suited to what I was thinking of accomplishing this year through One Word 365, though there are 11 other meanings that could apply as well.

Shortly before Christmas, I purchased a new devotional. It's called "Jesus Calling" and it's written by Sarah Young. My first act of discipline is in creating quiet time with the Lord - something I had gotten away from.

My life verse, since back in 2002 when I obeyed the Lord's calling to become a teacher, has been Jeremiah 29:11-13 (though I added verses 12 and 13 a few years later). Since graduating with my B.Ed. in 2009 and throughout my struggles in trying to find a full time teaching job, I have tried to cling to these verses, to the hope and plans God has for my life. It hasn't always been easy, and I'll admit that there were times I doubted. So, I had to smile as I read the devotion for January 1st. Yup, you guessed it. It was based on Jeremiah 29:11 (the other verse used is Romans 12:2, which is also fitting for my One Word 365).  The devotion speaks of not clinging to old ways and renewing your mind. As I said, this is very fitting for me right now (and always).

Today's devotion speaks of putting the focus back on Jesus, especially when your mind wanders when spending time with Him. I definitely struggle with this - trying to pray or spend time with the Lord and within moments, it seems, my mind is off wandering to the things I need to do, events of the day, etc. I know this is definitely an area in my walk where I need to be more disciplined. I want to hear Jesus when He talks to me; I need to get my mind off the distractions and focus on Him. It's hard though. But, I will pray that the Lord will help me in this area, and He will because He desires to have me spend time with Him.

In closing, I would like to add that I'm not just using the devotional. I'm also reading my Bible and praying the Lord will speak to me through it, His Living Word.

Question of the day: Do you have a life verse? Is there a devotional you enjoy using in your quiet time with the Lord?

Sunday, January 01, 2012

One Word 365

After seeing several blogs last year (and some the year before) dedicated to "One Word 365," I've decided to give it a go myself this year.

So, after pondering which word to choose, I've decided to use "discipline" as my One Word. There are many areas in my life, and in my walk with the Lord, where I need to learn or improve discipline, so I think it's quite fitting.

Maybe I'm biting off more than I can chew with this endeavour...you know, not being overly disciplined in sticking to this sort of thing...but, at any rate, I'm going to give it a shot and see what I learn about myself and what I can find out about discipline in different areas in my life.

If you want to find out about more about this project, or even join in, check out the One Word 365 blog. If this is something you are taking part in, or plan on doing so, leave me a comment and let me know what your word is.

Quick Catch-Up

As I awoke this morning, I thought it was still the middle of the night. It was still quite dark, not a sound could be heard. I looked at the clock and was 7:45am. In my neck of the woods at this time of year (as I am discovering), the sun doesn't rise until around 9:00...well, that's when it is visible above the horizon. You can watch as God paints the sky with beautiful shades of red, pink, and orange shortly after 8:00. At any rate, it still seemed like I had only been asleep for a short amount of time.

I'm still tired and will no doubt be napping throughout the day, and possibly going to bed early tonight. I am very thankful that I was able to get home for Christmas (up until a couple of days before I flew home, it was looking like I wouldn't be able to get back for the holiday), and I think I am still on the Atlantic Time Zone. I'm also quite tired from travelling - two flights (one for two hours, the other for four) and a car ride that lasted around twelve hours in total (we stopped for the night in one small town and headed back on our way yesterday morning) will definitely wear you out! But, as I said, I am very thankful that I was able to get back home to visit family and friends for just shy of two weeks (which, I might add, went by far too quickly!).

Since my last post, I found myself quite busy with work - and yes, I definitely felt worn down and out as well. I had to do up report cards (21 kids in my class), and two days of parent/teacher interviews. The first day we went from 2:30 until 8:00, and the next day my schedule started at 2:15 and went until 5:00. It was quite draining, but I survived.

Not long after that, we began the process of practicing for the Christmas concert. My class played two songs on the recorder, sang a song with the grade 2 class, and performed their own (rap) song with tumbling moves (cart wheels, front and back flips, some breakdancing, etc). Rehersals were typically disappointing as the kids didn't want to co-operate, wouldn't stop talking when they needed to listen, focused too much on what the "tumblers" were doing that they wouldn't do their own parts, etc.

I was working with the music teacher on this, and we both got frustrated a lot. But, we gave it to the Lord, prayed, and in the end the kids gave a FANTASTIC performance during the concert! They pulled it off without a hitch (and we had thought that our best tumbler would be out because two days before the concert he bruised his collar bone, which had been broken during the summer...thankfully he recovered and was able to take part)!  I am so proud of my class!

School starts again on January 3rd, and I'm actually looking forward to going back. I'm praying that things will go well this semester and that I've finally got my head above the water (the first semester of a first year of teaching is difficult - actually the first three years, or so I've been told by many, are the most difficult of the teaching profession. I am praying that I will be a little LOT more organized and that I am better able to manage the time and not get behind on lessons. There is so much that I hope and pray for this semester, and only with Jesus' help will I be able accomplish this.

So, now it's your turn to update me on yourself. How was your Christmas? What was the best thing that happened to you, the best gift you received or gave? Let me know in the comment section!