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.

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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!