Saturday, July 5, 2014

July Happenings!

I trust you all had a wonderful 4th of July!  The mister had to work, so I enjoyed a day off from work, and focused on enjoying life.  I was able to do just that.  I was able to catch up with my father-in-law on the phone for a while, go into town to take advantage of my free Starbucks birthday drink {even if they did mis-spell my name}, slowly meander through some stores, and have a lengthy phone conversation with my mom.

{May I just insert here how very much I love my Mom?!  It is true that when you grow up, a wonderful change happens in the relationship between a parent and child.  My mom has become one of my best friends.  I am constantly calling her asking for advice on how to handle a situation from school (goodness knows that with me and my siblings as her children, she has probably been through every scenario imaginable), and she offers such wisdom. She helps work through my kitchen fiascos and simply is a sounding board on a lot of things.  I am thankful to call her Mom, and one of my best friends. And now back to the post...}

It was a relaxing morning and afternoon.  I had never grilled portobello mushrooms before, so this was a first, and definitely not the last.  To celebrate Independence day, we went to town to watch the parade.  Much to our surprise, the parade consisted of a firetruck, followed by a few hundred people walking/riding/biking with decorated bikes, wagons, strollers, etc.  We were able to catch a few fireworks that people were setting off in the complex's parking lot {which I found a little scary, to say the least}.

On a school note, the summer is over halfway done and I can hardly believe it!  Where has the time gone?  Here a few [not so good...aka: cell phone] pictures from over the weeks!

For "Sea of Fun" week, we decorated the room to help us feel like we were at the beach!

On Friday, we had a beach party where we decorated cupcakes and then ate them outside on our beach towels before water day! So messy, yet so fun.

For "Start your Engines" week, we drew a "race track" out in the parking lot and then the munchkins had fun driving their cars around the track.  One child even tried to teach his mommy how to drive that afternoon after telling her "Mrs. Miller let me drive on the road this morning"!

For "Celebrate Summer" week, we packed it with fun summer activities.  One of those fun things was making sidewalk chalk paint.  Again, messy, but oh so fun!

This past week we celebrated our country, leading up to Independence Day.  I was so proud of the munchkins for how respectful they were when standing still, with their hand over their heart, for the national anthem, and pledge of allegiance.  It was a needed reminder that even children as young as three-years-old, can do way more then we give them credit for.

We made patriotic parfaits, and they really enjoyed them.  They kept exclaiming "this is just like ice cream".

We made soldiers on Monday, where I let them draw the soldier's face.  I am so pleased with how they turned out!

Monday will be the start of Week#7: Our Family and Home. Please pray for strength that I would finish strong, and continue to learn as we go.  Pray also as we seek God in what he has for us in the fall!

What did you do for Independence Day? Comment below.

Friday, July 4, 2014

A long list...

Happy 4th of July!  Today may very well be my favorite holiday of the whole year.  Picnics. Fireworks. Family. I love it all!   This past week at school, I would put on this movie during snack time to let the children hear patriotic music, with the fun visual of fireworks.  I don't know who enjoyed it more though, the munchkins, or their teacher!

My friend (as well as the youth pastor's wife at our church), Christa answered these on her blog over at Brown Sugar Toast.  I enjoyed reading her responses so much, I thought I would give it a try.  It was an added bonus that I love lists!

  • Cooking: Portobello Mushroom "Burgers" 
  • Drinking: a {free} Starbuck's Caramel Ribbon Crunch with an extra shot of espresso. So yummy! 
  • Reading: Love & Respect...I am such a slow reader.
  • Looking: for the perfect gift for my mister's birthday, which is next month!
  • Playing: "restaurant" during snack time with my preschoolers
  • Wasting: paper with the copy machine acting up
  • Sewing: nothing.  This is the area of domesticity that I greatly lack in.
  • Wishing: my mister were home celebrating the 4th with me
  • Enjoying: quiet {not because my mister is not home, but because I am not with my munchkins at school}
  • Waiting: for the three upcoming trips we have planned
  • Liking: God's is a sign of life and growth.
  • Wondering: where the Lord will have us a year from now
  • Loving: married life!
  • Hoping: to go camping sometime this summer with my mister
  • Marveling: at the fact that the year is already half over
  • Needing: to be more like Christ
  • Smelling: the freshly ground coffee beans my sister-in-law brought me this morning
  • Wearing: blue shorts. red top. white pearl necklace.
  • Following: East Coast Creative. Their blog and TV show.
  • Noticing: how un-decorated and un-creative my home is
  • Knowing: that I am forgiven
  • Thinking: about how I need to take more pictures
  • Feeling: refreshed
  • Bookmarking: this recipe organization idea. "organize recipes" is on my "summer to do"
  • Opening: a new box of graham crackers
  • Giggling: can't say as though I am giggling.
  • Feeling: accomplished for thinking of something for each one of these.
  • Making: Chocolate Eclair Cake for 4th of July!
  • Writing: a reply to my sister-in-law's email
  • Listening: to this song I am teaching my munchkins on the Fruits of the Spirit

Saturday, May 31, 2014

My Summer Classroom

I have had my first week of summer preschool.  It proved to be a little more choppy then anticipated.  I believe that was largely because of two reasons....(1) everyone is getting into a new schedule, it is expected, and (2) we had a lot of new subs this week, and not all of our regular workers.

We just finished up our space week, "Blast Off!", and are anticipating a week under water, "Sea of Fun".  Here are a few pictures of my classroom.

Monday, May 19, 2014

May already

April has come and gone and we are already over halfway through May.  I took a much needed break from blogging.  Between comments made referring to my blog, and other life happenings, I decided to take a month off.  A few adjustments will be made to this blog.  The biggest one being that I will not be posting as often.

This blog will be transitioning from my happy wife and teacher adventures, to the adventures that the Mister and I share as a family.  It is our long term goal to make it to the missions field, and this will be used as a pre-field newsletter site.

Before we go to the mission field we want to be gaining a backbone of prayer warriors.  Our need for prayer starts now, before we ever set foot on foreign soil.  We are just regular people in desperate need of prayer.  So we ask that you pray with us as we prepare for what the Lord has in store for us.

Keep reading for a few specific requests....

Daniel and I just celebrated our one year anniversary.  If I were to give a newlywed one piece of "advice", I would say "Marriage is way better then most people make it out to be, and at the same time it is way harder."  We have had our ups and downs, but I can honestly say I am thankful to share both the ups and downs with my best friend.

 Reenacting our rehearsal dinner of baked potatoes for our one-year anniversary while watching our wedding.
 Unlike most other couples, our anniversary cake tasted so good.  My mom did such a good job preserving it in the freezer.
 Dessert and sparkling cider while looking through our wedding album.
While on our honeymoon, we got Chinese take-out.  We decided to continue to anniversary celebrations with getting take-out again...only one year later.

We celebrated our one year anniversary a few weeks early by taking advantage of having the same days off and going to Washington, DC.  We got to see a lot, yet still left feeling like there was so much we had not been able to see.  To my surprise, the Air and Space Museum was my favorite stop.  Our shorter day of the two, we figure we walked 7-8 miles.  Our feet were so tired.  The days together were so wonderful.

Our most recent "big news" is that we very seriously considered moving to Alaska last month.  Let me tell you, that was not an easy decision.  Naturally, we both loved the idea of the "outdoorsy" aspect of the beautiful state, the fact that Daniel would be working on more similar planes to the ones he would work on the mission field, and a significant pay raise (for both of us!).  We were torn though with leaving the east coast where the majority of our family lives (not to mention a sister who is 15 minutes from us), losing flight benefits, and the hassle of relocating.  A lot went into the decision, and we decided to stay put for now.

My (Rebekah) parents came to visit two weeks ago and we had a blast with them.  They had not seen most of our wedding gifts, and not to mention....our home.  It was fun to show them around our city and have them for a visit.  We hated to see them leave.
 As a wedding gift, my Dad made us the bed frame, and my mom made us the quilt.  They brought them down when they came!
 Mom and I had a fun ladies day out!
 My mom makes the best cinnamon rolls.  She gave me her recipe, and taught me how to make them.  So yummy....
 On Wednesday morning, we went to the new stadium to watch a baseball game.  While we all ended up getting sun burnt, we had a blast!

As the school years draws to an end, I am excited for the summer...not for a break from school, but rather to start teaching.  I accepted the position of lead preschool teacher for our summer preschool ministry back in January, and have been planning for months.  I am eager to get started and put my plans to action.  This has been a fun change for me because in times past I have either (a) had to plan something very fast, or (b) plan a lesson for pretend students.  I have had the opportunity to pour my heart into these lesson plans, and will actually get to teach them to real children.

We don't have any large summer plans made yet, but plan to take advantage of flight benefits to take a few short trips.  We hope to visit friends and family from all over the country.

I think this about sums up our life right now. As promised, a few specific prayer requests:

  • Wisdom concerning both of our job situations.
  • That we would stay true to His word, and grown spiritually.
  • The Lord would grow our relationship with each other!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

March Happenings

March has come and quickly approaching.  I can already tell this year is going to fly by.  One of the aspects of marriage I am enjoying it looking for reasons to celebrate.  I find myself planning much further ahead.  The downside of this is that quite often I am "living in the future", which all too quickly becomes the past.  This is an area I am still working through.

Sick season is here, which has me subbing a lot, and home less.  I miss home.  Don't get me wrong, I love being at school, but home with my husband very well may be my most favorite place in the whole wide world!  This coming week presents a packed schedule.  Three of the days, I am subbing at school (starting at 7:45), and then go over to preschool until 6 (or until the last kiddo leaves).  I can honestly say, I feel ready.  I have known this week is coming, so have tried to prepare for an exhausting week.

St. Patrick's day is tomorrow and I am excited to make my first ever, corned beef.  We hope to have cabbage steaks with it, and finish off our meal with shamrock shakes.  This holiday does not serve much significance to either of us, but [see above], I am always looking for fun things to celebrate.  I enjoy the challenge of planning a meal around a theme.

The mister has been playing house-husband a lot lately, and putting me to shame with the quality of work he does.  I have had a crazy past few weeks between illness, subbing hours, and planning for the summer program.  This has {shamefully} put housework on the back burner.  My sweet husband has done more dishes the past few weeks then I care to admit.  He has done some spring cleaning, and prepared several of our meals.  I am realizing more and more each day how thankful I am to be married to him.  He truly is my best friend, and I so appreciate the depth of our conversations.

We continue to stay busy with our church.  This past week we had the Herbster Evangelistic Ministries for Revival.  Coming from the north, I was not familiar with revivals.  I confess, I was a bit skeptical, and not overly looking forward to it.  I was pleasantly surprised and very encouraged and challenged.  The quote that most stands out in my mind is "Only genuine people can make a difference".  This was in the context of Christians having to be genuine about their relationship if they ever hope to make an impact for Christ.  I have been chewing on this statement a lot lately, and especially as I rub shoulders with students every day.

What are you doing special for St. Patrick's Day?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Snow in February

I do not naturally take pictures very often...leaving you with wordy posts to read.  I am making up for it with this post- enjoy!

Tip: If you click on the image, you can see it larger.

At the beginning of the month, Daniel came home to an added "decoration" to the wall.  I had fun adding a new note each day (though not always keeping up with it as I had hoped) to my Valentine to add to the excitement and anticipation of the coming holiday.

I received my inspiration from The Ruche Blog.

This past week brought snow!  It made my weekend, and possibly even my winter.  This Vermont raised gal was missing snow.  Believe it or not, but some people do love the being one of those.  

School let out early on Tuesday for the storm.  We then had three days off from school!

An added blessing to these snow days was that the mister and I both had Wednesday and Thursday off.  We haven't had the same day (not to mention days [plural]) off in months.  We loved the extra time it gave us with each other.

We had agreed early on to celebrate Valentines day on Saturday.  The mister went to work, and I got busy baking and cooking.  For anyone who knows the slightest about me, knows that I love to bake and cook.  This is one way I love to show love!  I made it my personal challenge to make as many things into a heart shape as possible.  

Side Note:  Daniel and I had decided to not use hearts before we were officially dating.  We officially started dating a few days after Valentines day (five years ago) and that is when we exchanged Valentines cards.  I remember so clearly how excited I was to finally be able to use hearts!  That being said, hearts are fun.

I enjoyed the challenge. 

For breakfast, I made what was supposed to be heart shaped Egg in a Basket.  The heart in the toast didn't look too much like a heart afterwards. Oh well.  For dinner we had salad (with heart shaped carrots), and pizza.  My favorite part about the pizza was the heart shaped pepperoni!  For dessert, we had Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Brownie Bars.  All was yummy!  I had so much fun planning this out and doing my best to take advantage of an excuse to make a day over-the-top special for my Valentine.

We chose to keep a tight budget on Valentines "gifts" which ended up being a lot of fun.  We both stayed "within budget" and had a blast doing it.  My man loves cookie dough.  He also loves peanut butter, so it was a done deal when I discovered this recipe.  I made peanut butter cookie dough truffles.  Again, I love to show my love through baking!

He was incredibly selfless in his gift for me.  You see, my husband does not like coffee- the taste, or the smell.  I love coffee!  My sweet mister bought me a french press and coffee!  As one of my friends said when I told her about it, "he's a keeper!".  I couldn't agree more, even though I already knew that.

Our first Valentines Day together as a married couple proved to be a lot of fun.  We enjoyed celebrating each other and the love the Lord has given us for each other.

We were reminded of the most perfect example of love provided to us through Jesus' work on the cross.  We are able to love, because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).


from our family, to yours...

we wish you a belated

How did you celebrate Valentines Day?

Friday, February 7, 2014

February...carpe diem

February is here.  I go back and forth between not being able to believe it is already February and going "wow, at the end of this month [which you know will fly by] we will be a sixth of the way through the year".

This year I find myself with a new mindset--carpe diem.

Seize the day.

We have a new years resolution with our sister (who loves 10-15 minutes away) to get together with her at least once a month.  I have a personal resolution to try and plan at least one "time" [my husband's love language] adventure/event/date per a month with my husband.  I have another personal resolution to hand write a note of encouragement to one person a week.  I had to break my goals into smaller goals, with short term "deadlines" to help keep me on track.

I want my year to be one of change, and worthwhile priorities.  I want to invest in relationships.

I already look back on last month and am pleased with the things "that got done" and I didn't feel like I was having to micromanage my schedule.  I want to be thankful for each moment I am given and looking back on it, know I used it wisely.

That all being said, January was a wonderful month!  Per my mister's suggestion, we are trying to clean out one closet per a weekend.

Side Note: We have an odd schedule.  Once we get used to it, it changes.  I am a planner, and am having to learn to adjust to it.  Again, I have had to learn to seize the moment.  The quicker we get into a new routine, the longer we get to stick with that one.  The mister enjoys a weekend of Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.  His Friday is my Monday, and my Friday is his Monday.  I get called to sub, and so we never know if I actually will be home when he is.  We mutually agreed, to protect one of his weekend days to become our weekend.  We sleep in, I make a special breakfast, and we enjoy our time together until 3pm, when I go into work.  This has been wonderful for us!  It allows us some rest time, and some time together.

Our home is getting cleaned out and we are throwing away, selling, and donating so much--it feels great!  We have agreed it is a wonderful winter activity when it is too cold to do outdoor activities (no skiing, or snowmobiling down here).

I am spending a lot of my "off hours" lesson planning and trying new recipes.  We are celebrating the month of February with a "Countdown to Valentine's".  Pictures to follow in a future post.

All this to say, I find myself enjoying life more, when I live each moment to it's fullest!

What are some fun things you did in January to help jump start 2014?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

life is not busy

Too often, I find myself discontent with my current phase of life.  For so long I wished I was either back in a past phase of life, or longer for an upcoming phase.  With the recent learning of what my job for the summer will be, I find myself enjoying my current phase to the fullest.

Our lives are busy...far too busy a lot of the time.

Yes, my life feels busy right now, but when it all boils down to it, my life is not busy right now.  It has taken a recent circumstance to help me realize this.

Let me back the story up a little bit to what helped me come to this epiphany.

I wanted a teaching job just out of college.  I accepted a summer "lead teacher" job for a summer camp reaching students grades 1-5.  I enjoyed this, but felt unsatisfied as they did not want to do anything structured.  I had high hopes that this would open the door to a full time teaching position at the school for the fall.  The Lord had different plans.  It took me a while to be okay with this.

With my current preschool job, I don't plan any activities or structured activities because at the age of three, they have had enough structure and learning time by the time 3:00pm has arrived.  I work 18 hours a week, before any subbing opportunities that may arise.

I had a subbing position a few weeks back which shed light on some of my "discontentment".  While I was thankful for how the Lord provided this job, and have learned lots, I was not TEACHING.

I love kids.  This is fulfilled in my preschool job.

I love teaching.  This is not fulfilled in my preschool job.

Do not get me wrong, I am enjoying my time in the preschool, but I miss teaching.

Last week, I was asked to be the lead teacher this summer in our preschool summer camp.  No, this will not have the same structure as an academic classroom, but I will still be able to teach.

And this brings us to today.  Never before have I had time in my life to plan ahead and taken time plotting out my goals.  I have made it through, by the grace of God, and been able to do well at the things He has given me to do, but never before have I been able to simply sit down and plan out lessons I will do several months from now.

I have the time to sit down and plan my lessons, both in a broad sense (weekly themes, special days I want to have, general outline of a day, etc.), but also more specifically (books I want to read for the different themes, how each week will break down, crafts, snacks, etc.).  I have been able to do research on behavior plans for the specific age God has given me to work with.  I have been able to research where my students are developmentally, while adding in personal experience I have gleaned this year.

God's timing is perfect.

I do not yet know what my plans are for the fall.  My hopes are to be teaching full time in an elementary classroom, but this is in the Lord's hands.  His timing is perfect.  His plans are perfect.

I rest in His goodness, praising Him that this phase of life isn't too busy.  I have the time to sit down and work toward giving Him my best in the tasks He gives me.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Holiday Happenings

For those of you who this is your first time on our blog, welcome!  We are in a transition stage of preparing for the mission field, while enjoying the field He has us at now.  It is our goal to use this blog as an avenue of updating you on what is going on in our life as we go through this adventure. 

I have always enjoyed the smells, sights, tastes, hustle, and bustle of the Christmas and holiday season.  I must confess though that this may very well have been my favorite year first time going through the holiday happenings as a married woman.  I enjoyed decorating our home, burning Christmas candles, and all the baking to my hearts (and our stomach's) content.  What a fun time to cram a few more social events into the calendar, attend Christmas programs, and see family.  Most importantly, I enjoy the intentional focus we put on the birth of our Savior.

Our Pastor did a sermon on this topic the Sunday before Christmas that helped me see the nativity in a new light.  His sermon was entitled "O Come, Let Us Adore Him" and preached on the topic of worship.  He used the example of the response the shepherds gave when they heard from the angels.  I highly encourage you to take the time to listen to this.

The school Christmas program was a lot of fun and again, amazed the mister and I with the God-given musical talent the students at this school have.  My little preschoolers did a wonderful job singing.

The mister's parents came in Christmas Eve and helped me prepare for Christmas day, while he still had to work.  We praise the Lord that he did not have to travel to fix a plane out of town. He came home on time, and in time to go to the Christmas Eve Service with us.  What a beautiful, and God-honoring candlelight service we had. After the service, we had simple finger foods: cinnamon caramel popcorn, veggie pizza, and crock pot meatballs.

Merry Christmas Eve!

I enjoyed playing hostess for our first Christmas together with my in-laws and sister-in-law at our place.  My mother-in-law made breakfast casserole for breakfast, and then we enjoyed a slow day of visiting and gift opening.

We ate a big lunch and continue to enjoy the fellowship of each other.  Earlier this year, I had decided I wanted to make a cheesecake, but had not yet found a recipe.  I had someone gift me a subscription to Kraft Food &Family.  I found just the cheesecake I wanted to make...Peppermint Bark Cheesecake.  It still has room for improvement, but was still quite tasty.
All in all, it was a wonderful first Christmas for this Miller family.
Miller Christmas 2013

Daniel had Christmas day, Thursday, and Friday off.  I too had taken the days off, so we were able to enjoy the time together.  He returned to work on Saturday.  We left after he got home on Saturday and drove through the night.  We surprised my family by coming in about twelve hours early.  The reactions were all a lot of fun.  Between their reactions and the clear roads, we were thankful to have driven through the night.

Having come in early, we were able to see some of my extended family.  It was a wonderful visit with my side of the family.

We rang in the new year with my parents.  It was a quiet and uneventful evening, but so good to catch up with them, and simply be with them.  We are thankful for the time we had with them, though it was much too short.

Life resumes to normal tomorrow as I get back to work in the preschool.

This year, more then other years, I find myself wanting to make a lot of changes in the year 2014.  I am thankful for new beginnings, and starting points.  The key to making these changes happen is that I want to make a big goal, with smaller steps to reach that.  I need accountability, which a husband is great for!  I plan to organize my goals, by the roles I play...what changes can I make as a wife? as a keeper of our home? as a teacher? as a daughter of the King?  

God is good and is bringing so much to mind.  I am thankful that He is patient and it is HIS strength that gets us through each day and helps us meet our goals.

With all this said, I wish you a Happy 2014 with many changes that draw you closer to your friends, family, and your great big God!