Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy Roommate Day!

Here on campus, today is a very special day...it is Roommate Day!  Many of our students (girls especially) go all out in doing something special for their roommate to show how much they appreciate each other.  It is so fun seeing the different things they do for each other.  A few things they do for each other are: breakfast in bed, notes waiting for them at each class, a notes scavenger hunt, gift cards, flowers, chocolate, a meal out, etc.  As many of you know, due to being an RA, I have my own room this year (aka: no roommate).  I was not expecting anything since well, I don't have a roommate.

This morning, waking up was hard.  I think I am fighting a cold, and with a lot going on I was dead exhausted.  After hitting snooze for over fifteen minutes I finally stumbled out of bed and out of my room to take a shower.  I was pleasantly surprised to find flowers, homemade blueberry muffins, and a note that read "Happy Roommate/RA day!"  One of the other girl RAs had taken on each of us other girl RAs as her roommate.  How special and encouraging.  Thanks, Bekah (H)!

Aren't they so beautiful? Bright and Cheerful!

Later on in the day, when I got back from lunch, I found another gift outside my door.  The other RA for this building had written a sweet note with a small gifts.  Thanks, Bekah (B)!  These two young ladies know how to brighten a day of a gal who is tired, and feels worn thing--thanks ladies for being an encouragement to me.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Blends and Digraphs in a Cup

For my class, Teaching Language Arts, we had to come up with a learning center having to do with Phonics.  The week before it was due, we drew a grade level from the basket that we had to do.  I drew 2nd grade...okay I like 2nd grade! I was slightly panicking though because never have I had to think and create a learning center in one short week.  I quickly came back to my room thinking about it and researching different ideas online.  My freshman year roommate (an el ed graduate) happened to be online.  We talked a bit, and then I thought....what better resource then someone who has already been through the class?  I asked her if she had any ideas and to my sadness, she did not.  A half hour later, I got an email from her with two suggestions!  I fell in love with one of her ideas and my mind just took off--I began making the idea my idea by tweaking it in different ways.  I am so thankful though for her giving me the idea...thanks Kelly!

It isn't just as easy though as deciding, "okay, I have 2nd grade, I want to do...this!"  Oh no.  In education (specifically in WV, other states have different names for them), we have these nice (aka: horrifying) things called Content Standard Objectives (CSO).  These CSOs are a teachers guide to what they must teach their students in what subject and in what year.  So when I got 2nd grade I had to go to the CSOs and pick a specific CSO that I was going to address.  For those who care, I chose RLA.O.2.1.1 (Reading Language Arts, Objective, for 2nd grade, 1st section, 1st point).  Now don't you feel educated in education?  This CSO states: "identify and practice basic elements of phonetic awareness: syllabication, dipthongs, digraphs..."  So there you have it!

Daniel helped me out a lot too by helping me think up words to go with the blends or digraphs.

Quick lesson for you all....
Digraph: when two letters make one sounds (ch, sh, ae, etc.)
Blend: when two letters blend together, but still hold their seperate sounds (bl, cr, st, etc.)

Enjoy the fun learning center!

 I was setting it up so that four students could it at once, hence the four colors.  Each color had different blends and digraphs though.  I got to cut out each individual picture, after making them all on the computer.

 Can you see the blend and digraph groups in this one? cr, fr, sn, and tr.  After getting cut out, each individual square was laminated and then trimmed.

 The different groups would go in a cup.  I laminated the labels, and then hot glued them to the dixie cups.

 Printing things off...color coded!

 Here is the finished product!  You can never forget directions, and who doesn't like it when there are pictures in the directions!

 The green bag...can you decide which cup each picture should go in?

Another aspect of learning centers is that they must be self checking.

I had fun, learned lots, and pleased with how it turned out.  Now to hopefully be able to use that in a future classroom or with my children when they are in 2nd grade!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

back at school

Thank you so much for your prayers.  They were felt and very much appreciated.  The funeral service for Grandpa had the gospel clearly presented in more then one ways.  I am specifically praying for my cousins that they will have heard this and that the Lord change their lives.  I am back at school as of last night.  Please pray as I try to get back into the swing of things here as a student, RA, church member, and Mission's Conference Steering Committee member.  I am rather overwhelmed right now.  I don't regret going home though for one moment, and am so thankful I did that!  Let me know how I can be praying for you...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

home going

As many of you know, my Grandpa Hewitt went Home to be with His Savior this morning, and I will be going home to Vermont tomorrow.  Grandpa has not been doing well for a long time, and we have had much longer with him then we had anticipated.  I am so thankful for the time I did have though.  My family is doing fine.  It is hard though because we have been so blessed in up until today, having all four grandparents living and within two miles of our home.  We had a deep relationship with our grandparents unlike what many people are able to have.  It is hard making this adjustment, but we know that Grandpa is so very happy right now.  As sung about in Amazing Grace- My Chains Are Gone, we know now that Grandpa's chains are gone...his diabetes, his heart issues, and the sins of this world.  As hard as it is still being here without him, I am happy for him in being with the One He loved best!  Please be in prayer for my Grandma as she deals with all that this entails.  Grandpa and Grandma had been happily married for over sixty years (so thankful of the example that sets for me).  Tim, Beth, and Annette are on their way to school today.  We will all sleep here tonight and head out first thing in the morning.  Thank you for your love and prayers.  Praising the Lord for His promise that "whoever believes in HIS name shall be saved".

Sunday, September 11, 2011

first full week of classes...check

My first full week of classes of my junior year is behind me.  I can barely believe I am a junior, but am by no means complaining.  Don't get me wrong, I love college, but I am also ready to be done.  God has given us a natural instinct to be ready for the next phases (we as humans sometimes rush it a little though).  That is one thing that struck me as I was graduating from high school.  I enjoyed high school, but at the same time I was ready to be done and to start college.  God is good though in having a time for everything.  It is time for my junior year of college.

I can barely believe how fast classes have started.  I already have some projects due on Monday and a learning center due on Thursday.  I was nervous about this weekend and getting everything done, especially with different things that kept coming up, but as always the Lord is faithful and He has helped me get the needed work done.  And in time for me to hopefully get a Sunday afternoon nap!  

Here at ABC we play inter-mural ultimate frisbee games at the beginning of the year.  The teams consist of the brother-sister wings.  My brother wing is Ben, and he loves ultimate frisbee. I played yesterday afternoon so we would have enough girls on the team to have a full team--we won!  This afternoon they played another game, and again we won!  Hip Hip Hooray!  So proud of my girls who have played and ran their hearts out (because the girls haven't gotten subs, because three girls have to be on the field at all times).  I heard that today Cheryl made a dive into the end zone, catching the frisbee, making a point for our team.

I worked Friday and Saturday night and both nights went well.  Neither night was overly eventful, which is actually a good thing, because it means more homework time for me.

Now to be extra selfish and ask for prayer for myself.  I have been feeling extremely overwhelmed recently with different responsibilities going on in my life, on top of emotional things that are going on.  Please pray that I be able to balance the different things in my life: spiritual life, academic life, RA, Mission's Conference, church involvement, and work.  My Grandpa is doing poorly again.  I expect I will be making a trip home soon with Tim, Beth, and Annette.  This is hard physically on Grandpa, as well as emotionally on my family.  It has been a roller coaster, and I know my family at home is physically tired as well.  I am also trying to feel strong physically.  Since coming, I have just been very tired and feel weak.  Pray that I find my strength in the Lord.  Enough of me though, sorry about that!

How may I most specifically be praying for you?  The Lord has given me a new love in praying for others and lifting their needs to the Lord (it helps me get my mind off of my selfish self).  I hope and pray you have a blessed Lord's day, and that He teaches you something new, or shows you an area of your life that needs to be changed.  Take care.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"I know who holds the future,
and I know who holds my hand,
With God things don't just happen,
everything by Him is planned;
So as I face tomorrow
with it's problems large and small,
I'll trust the God of miracles-
give to Him my all."
-A.B. Smith

Monday, September 5, 2011

random thoughts

Okay, so I have so many thoughts on my head, so we are going to another random thoughts blog...

  • I love rain even though it makes walking to and from class slightly inconvenient
  • I think I am going to enjoy history this semester
  • Why do I always feel the need to drink coffee before a three hour class?
  • This afternoon I enjoyed the sound and cool breeze from outside (open window) while snuggled up in a blanket, enjoying a French Vanilla specialty cocoa and reading The Knowledge of the Holy
  • We are to get 6-9 inches of rain this week here
  • I absolutely love being an RA
  • I appreciate the team of RAs this year and the encouragement they are
  • God has given me a skip in my step so far this year
  • While walking to class, the Holy Spirit put verses in my heart, and people on my mind.  Thankful for the working of the Holy Spirit.
  • Twizzlers are so addictive...so are swedish fish
  • I love my sister so much and am so blessed to have her in my life.
  • I am so excited to have another class with Mrs. Pack
  • I get to do room checks this week, and I am excited to get to see how the girls have their rooms set up.
  • Thankful for my friend, Beek, and the conversation we were able to have last night.  God changed both of our lives this summer and it was awesome to be able to share that with each other.
  • One of my girls gave me a Twix today for letting her borrow my umbrella, good trade if you ask me.
  • I had a huge answer to prayer in finding the documentation of 15.5 observation hours
  • Hoping to go to Kohls soon...I am sick of not being able to hang up my skirts (wrinkly is not a new look I like to fasion).
  • I plan on having a mini solo tomorrow morning, and am ready to go to bed to make it come quicker.
Okay, that is enough random thoughts for one night. Hope they didn't bore you too bad.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

trusting in God...a lesson being learned

I want to share with you what God has been teaching/revealing to me lately, in hopes that it will encourage you.  My learning has come through my time in the devotional book 40 Days with Jesus: Celebrating His Presence by Sarah Young.  I would highly suggest you get your own copy and go through each of them.  I have learned so much about Him, as well as myself through where this devotional takes me into God's Word.  The book is written from "Jesus' perspective".

So I have known for a while that for some reason I have trust issues.  I know I struggle with taking people at their word and trusting people to be who they say they are.  What I didn't know what that I have that same issue in my relationship with God.  I don't trust Him as I should.  I struggle to trust Him for who He says He is: that He loves me, that He wants to hear my prayers, that He cares about me, etc.  The devotional was pointing out, "When you are dissatisfied with your behavior, you tend to feel unworthy of My Love.  You may unconscious punish yourself by withdrawing from Me and attributing the distance between us to My displeasure.  Instead of returning to Me and receiving My Love, you attempt to earn My approval by trying harder.  All the while, I am aching to hold you in My everlasting arms, to enfold you in My Love.  When you are feeling unworthy or unloved, come to Me.  Then ask for receptivity to My unfailing Love. (Young 32)"

This hit home hard.  I do that subconsciously all the time, and I feel as though I have worked myself into a rut of feeling overcome by my sinfulness, blocking the intimacy of my relationship with Christ out.  I know He loves me, but I need to have a better understanding of His love.  It is unconditional.  I am so wrong in pulling away from Him when I see my sin, because instead I should be drawing closer to Him, pleading with Him to help me change my life and to turn the sin around.  My sin won't be turned around without His help.  I need to accept the love He is always trying to give me.

This has radically changed my life.  It isn't an overnight change.  I still see my sin and am disgusted with my imperfection  but I am now working on crying out to Him and telling Him how upset I am with myself and asking Him to help me accept His forgiving love.  I believe that as He helps me understand His forgiving love, I will better be able to forgive myself for the tedious sins I do daily, as well as have a forgiving love for those around me.

After all, God is the most trusting of all.  When I trust in Him as I should, I will trust Him to take care of me and guard me around people here on earth who are not trustworthy in so many ways.  God really does love me, really does care about me, and really does want to hear my prayers.  I am so thankful for His revealing to me that I don't trust Him as I should.  Please pray for me as I work on implementing this change in my life.  I hope this is an encouragement to you.  Maybe you are another person with trust issues, where those trust issues are affecting your relationship with Jesus Christ...think about it.

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. --1 John 4:16-18

Friday, September 2, 2011

RA fun

I also just quickly wanted to show you some of my RA fun from the summer.  I guess you could say I was excited to be an RA, and wanted my girls to feel welcomed and at home on my wing.

These were the welcoming gifts for each of them.  They awaited the girl's arrival on their sinks. 

My RA my freshman year had an encouragement line, specifically encouraging us girls to encourage those on our wing by writing notes.  I wanted to see the same thing happen on my wing this year, so I made us all "mailboxes" that go outside our rooms. 

This is Courtney's and Kari's!

dorm room #3

I would like to take you on a tour into my home.  If you would like the full affect of what it would feel like entering my hall and walking into my door, check out this past blog.

As you enter my room, these next four pictures will be from one corner taking the picture of the opposite corner.  The corner pictured starts at the far right (when walking in) and moves right.

 Thanks to Mom, I have curtains aesthetically hung over my window.  In my opinion the four things that make a room a home: curtains, quilt, jewelry box, and pictures.  Thankfully, I have all four!

 I love the white lights over my bed--they add a warm feeling for all who enter.  The lap quilt offers additional color, while always being handy for if I am studying on my bed...also, another beautiful creation!  I was able to borrow Daniel's refrigerator again which is such a blessing.  In the new dorm, the faucet water does not get cold, only cool.  Therefore the frig has been coming in extra handy this year.  I have gotten several compliments already on the quilted pillow that Sarah made.

 Another wonderful feature of the women's dorms at ABC is that they have sinks!  In the new dorm, each room has two sinks (for both roommates).  This particular sink is my personal sink.  One good thing about living alone is that I can write on the mirror without having to worry about disturbing the other person's view.  The back of my door serves as my prayer door, with pictures serving as reminders to pray for these situations or people.  It still needs a little more help.

 My other sink serves as the "hot spot" (I just made that name up).  It will serve both as my sink/counter to serve hot drinks on, as well as my dishes sink.  The pictures on my wall make me happy!

Here is a panoramic of my room when you walk in the door.  If you click the picture, you can see it bigger. 

I have been very pleased with my desk set up, offering extra surface space to spread out on.  I also enjoy having the window just behind my shoulder.  It offers good natural light, as well as it is easily accessible to look out, but not distracting. 

I remember when we were building our current house, Dad had quickly mentioned possibly putting a sink in our girl's room (it didn't actually happen because it didn't make sense when Sarah and I would both be leaving soon).  At the time, it seemed like a very odd idea.  Since coming to college though, I have grown to love having a sink in my room. I love having all of my things in my room, and not having to always put a toothbrush cover over my toothbrush.  So thankful for this sink!

Here is just a closer look of my "hot spot".

I hope you enjoyed the tour.  I love my home, and want it to be a place where people feel welcome to come, sit, chat, and pray!  If you are ever in the area, give me a call and stop by.  I would love to show it off to you in person.

To see past dorm rooms, check out these links...
Sophomore year with new furniture (spring semester)
Sophomore year with old furniture (fall semester)
Freshman year (oops, I didn't have my blog at that point)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

girls, Irene, classes, and church

I have been slacking in the blogging department because I feel guilty that I do not yet have pictures.  Why I don't have pictures though is because I have not yet been able to put totes and such in storage.  Therefore leaving me with a stack of "stuff" in my room that needs to be removed.  I am hoping to be able to do that soon. Until then though, here are a few short updates on what's happening.

The last girl on my wing to arrive came in on Monday morning.  After praying for them this summer, and last semester too, it was so good to have them all in, and safe.  I have twelve girls on my wing, and it seems like it will be an awesome group, judging by the different personalities that will each have something different to add to our dynamic.  I have been able to get to know some of them, but am eager to get to know them all better.

On Sunday, hurricane Irene hit Vermont.  I called mom and she simply said, "Becky, this is scary, please pray."  The "scary" part didn't last too long and consisted of lots of water, but little wind.  The stream in front of our house got very high, but it is far enough away from the house, that it never hurt it.  Mom said the river was carrying trees and large rocks.  Our neighbor's driveway was washed, as well as other roads in Ira, but as of last night, Dad said Ira is just about back to normal (thanks to the road people getting right on it, and townspeople helping out in different ways too).  Dad did say that there are still several towns that are completely stranded and essentially an "island".  There were houses that simply caved in because the dirt under their foundation was washed out.  There are many paved roads that were simply washed away. On rt. 7, where I would often drive on my way to work, the bridge is gone, with only a few short feet remaining.  I praise the Lord for the safety of my family and the others.  I have not yet heard of any deaths or serious injuries in my area.
Rt. 7 just outside of Rutland, Vermont after hurricane Irene (2011)

Yesterday, classes began!  I was ready to get back into the routine of classes.  I only had two morning classes, and they both look like they will be good classes.  My schedule this semester isn't too heavy with just the classes, and I love how my classes are set (time and location that is).  Looking forward to see what God teaches me this semester.

Last night I was able to get back to church.  It was SO good to be back and to see those dear, familiar faces.  Last night was their last night of the summer children's program, and so they had a carnival.  Tracie had been working hard to pull it all together, and her hard work definitely paid off...the kids had a blast!  I was in charge of the "Pick a Duck" station which resulted in me getting quite wet from the kids who felt the need to splash while picking a duck out of the bucket.  We ended the carnival with them getting ice cream!