Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Season

We are loving this Christmas season together as a married couple!  Here are a few of the things we have enjoyed doing...

Baking: peppermint bark, no bake chocolate peanut butter cookies, chocolate mint dreams, chocolate covered oreos, and chocolate mint brownies.

Cooking:  We were generously given some venison.  We didn't do much venison growing up so I have enjoyed experimenting.  We had venison steaks last week, and I made venison chili.  Both we highly approve of!

Partying: Last weekend was our Sunday School party.  The mister had to work, but I was still able to go.  This past weekend was the faculty/staff Christmas party for my job.  We got to go together, and had a fun time doing so!

Christmas Cantatas: We have already been to three Christmas programs, two through church and one through school.  My preschoolers did a fabulous job singing loud and clear for all to hear- I was so proud of them!  They all looked precious all decked out in their fancies!

Christmas Card Writing:  We decided to do Christmas cards this year, and had a lot of fun doing it.  We had very limited supplies so very few got them in the mail.  We did an electronic letter as well!

We are thankful to say we have not felt the hecticness of the season (besides still not knowing when he gets time off for us to travel to my parents).  We truly have been simply enjoying the festivities paired with extra opportunities of fellowship.

I am humbled by the birth of Jesus.  In discussing it with the third graders yesterday, there wasn't much more of a humble way Christ could have entered, yet he is the only one that deserves the most magnificent.  How come we so often feel as we are not getting enough recognition?  It is shameful of us.

All this to say, we are enjoying our first Christmas together!

Lessons from Preschool

I had the privilege of subbing in third grade at our church school yesterday and this teacher's heart was in Heaven.  It had been a rough previous day in the "career" aspect of things as I wallowed in self pity, struggling with contentment over my current job position.  My husband was wonderful [as always] and listened to me while offering calming thoughts, and doing what needed to be done first...prayed.  Amazing how bringing things to the Lord can relieve so much.

Side Note: May I just throw in there how thankful I am that God created the most close relationship to be between a man and a woman?  My emotions and thoughts, as a female, run wild sometimes. The mister offers such sound and calming thoughts.  On the flip side, there are times it helps the mister to get a feminine (aka: more emotional/sentimental) perspective on things.

So back to the post.

I was nervous about yesterday's subbing, but the Lord proved true to His character, and made his response clear to our crying hearts from the previous night.  I had a wonderful day and it was a refreshment to my heart to see I do have a passion to teach.  Right now I am not teaching, but I do still believe He has me in preschool for a reason.

Do. Not. Get. Me. Wrong.  I love my preschoolers, enjoy working with them, and am beyond thankful for God's provision with a job.  I do believe the Lord has me here this reason, and therefore the Lord is working in my heart to make it content.

Despite what it may seem, this post is about preschool (not third grade).  In my pathetic questioning of "why God am I working in preschool when you know my heart is to teach, not just babysit?", God has slowly been revealing to me an important lesson I needed refreshed...


It hit me a few weeks ago how often I say to my preschoolers something along the lines of "You are sitting here in time out because you disobeyed when I told you to [insert situation here].  When you disobey, I cannot reward you and allow you to continue to play".  Obviously there is more to this conversation, but we are constantly stressing to our students how crucial it is that they obey.  This is very hard for them at this age, as they have a very self focused perspective developmentally.

I may be several years older then them, but this was a lesson I needed a reminder of.  Just as I take obedience very seriously with my students and am trying to train them to (1) do what they are told, (2) when they are told (3) with the right heart attitude (thanks Mom and Dad for committing this to my memory), God takes it even more seriously with me obeying Him.

This may seem juvenile, but this was eye opening to me.  I don't think I would have learned this lesson as bold had I been in an older elementary grade.

I needed the preschoolers and my time with them to teach me this.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

'Tis the Season...for wonderful traditions

I love the holiday season....Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, etc.  I love the baking, aromas, family time, and most of all traditions.

Thanksgiving:  This was my first Thanksgiving away from my parents and siblings.  While I missed them immensely, I enjoyed celebrating with my husband and his side of the family.  We are only a couple of hours from his parents, so we made a day trip out of it.  We drove north with his sister and enjoyed the time of visiting.  There were twenty-three of us gathered for food and fellowship.  I continue to enjoy getting to know his side of the family.

Friday:  My sweet mister was wonderful and allowed us to start Christmas once Thanksgiving was over.  This is our first Christmas together and so we are enjoying our time creating traditions.
I had been planning Friday to be a relaxing Christmas day.  It wasn't quite as relaxing as we had hoped, but we began some traditions.  After sleeping in, we woke up to make cinnamon roll pancakes [stay tuned for some tweaks on this recipe].  We went back out to finish some black Friday shopping.  We came back to hang some Christmas lights and make my mom's caramel popcorn....of course while listening to Christmas music.  We went out to pick our Christmas tree, and brought it back to decorate.  For our first Christmas together, we have several Christmas ornaments and decorations [thanks to our aunt who gave a Christmas themed bridal shower gift].  

After got things cleaned up from the excitement of Christmas, we made homemade pizza and enjoyed it with some sparkling cider.

We were thankful for two of the same days off this week, which hasn't happened for months!

And so on...  Daniel was back to work on Saturday, and life goes back to normal, with the addition of some extra baking, Christmas aromas filling our home, and a few extra social events.

I do love the added scenery to our living room while having my date with Jesus in the morning.

We are open to ideas of other Christmas traditions.  What does your family look forward to doing each Christmas together?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Soups, Successes, and Cranberry Sauce

Don't you love being able to stay inside on a cold, rainy day?  The temperatures have been dropping lately, and today the rain came.  Thankfully though....I am still inside, under a warm blanket and hot corn pack [thanks, Beth!].  I have already had a cup of tea, and a cup of hot chocolate.  I cannot get warm [doesn't help that our heater seems to be messed up, and therefore is turned off].

This cooler weather has increased our cravings for soup and baking [standing in front of a hot oven is the only think that compares to standing in front of a wood stove].  Maybe one of these days I will do a post solely on soup recipes....hmmm.

#1) Broccoli Cheddar- It claims to be just like Panera's, but [besides knowing we love it] we don't have it enough to be able to give an accurate comparison.  Regardless of whether it is like Panera's or not, it is delish!  I had never used gouda cheese before, but made this my first time.  We liked it a lot, but it is expensive, so I think next time we will try replacing it with a sharp cheddar maybe.
#2) Pumpkin Coffee Cake- We try to set aside at least one day a week that becomes our Saturday.  Because we don't share any days off, we make sure to take a morning where we enjoy sleeping in, having an out-of-the-ordinary tasty breakfast, and relax.  This was the results of one of our Saturdays.  I would make it every day if we wouldn't gain ten pounds each.
#3) Pumpkin Chicken Soup- This was surprisingly yummy.  Neither the mister nor I were too sure about it.  We love pumpkin but had never had it in a savory recipe before.  We were both pleasently surprised.  We added too much red pepper so it was quite spicey, but when we dipped some homemade bread in it, there was no problem.

For Thanksgiving, our plan is to make a day trip north with the mister's sister to our grandparents.  Almost the entire family will be there.  I plan to make homemade cranberry sauce.  This recipe first entered into our family from my aunt.  Since then, my mom makes it every Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We love it so much that she makes extra that stays in the refrigerator to ensure we have leftovers [she told me yesterday that she is making a triple batch this year, haha].  I made it the other night for a Thanksgiving party with some friends of ours and it was agreed upon that this recipe is wonderful [which is saying a lot, considering the mister and I usually do not like cranberry sauce at all].

Okay. Enough talking about it....here is the recipe:

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

1 c whole cranberries
1 fresh orange, pealed
1 3 oz lemon jello
1/2 c sugar
3/4 c boiling water
8 oz crushed pineapple, don't drain

grind orange first then grind cranberries in with it. Set aside. In small bowl combine jello, sugar and water. Stir to dissolve jello and sugar and cool slightly. Add cranberries and oranges and pineapple. Fold together and pour into bowl. Chill

What are your responsible for this Thanksgiving?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

the most wonderful day

I sit here in the airport awaiting my flight to Charleston to visit some dear friends finishing up their time student teaching (same as I did this past spring, simply at a different school).  I look forward to a fun ladies' afternoon with these two, though still am dealing with the happy remnants of yesterday, one of the most wonderful days.

To give a little background...I had a root canal.  The week before our wedding, my tooth began hurting.  As soon as moving, we found a dentist and learned I needed a root canal. Long story short, we transferred dentists after the root canal procedure to finish up with the crown.  The mister and I decided to use his 'childhood' dentist office.  All that to say, the dentist we attend is about two and a half hours away where his parents currently live.  Yesterday was my last appointment dealing with this root canal...hip hip hooray!

This may lead you to believe "how could it be such a wonderful day?" (especially considering I absolute despise the dentist).

Saturday, November 2, 2013


I am thankful for my little family of two. I am thankful for changing foliage.  I am thankful for days off from work.  I am thankful that Christmas is getting closer for me to visit my parents and siblings.

November is that wonderful time of year when people tend to be more pleasant. I see there being at least two things that bring this about.  1: This month begins the festivities of the winter holiday season and 2: This is when the majority of people focus on the good things in their life, providing opportunities to be thankful.  If we allowed ourselves to allow #2 to be a year round occurrence, we could help contribute to a better place.

My mister amazes me.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Menu Madness: Fall Favorites

The mister and I had a busy week.  I ended up doing a bit of subbing and he was keeping busy working on our vehicles (have I mentioned how thankful I am for his being willing and able to do that sort of stuff?  I am!).  Our house was a wreck, and I was not anticipating being home on Saturday, my regular "catch up" day.  I had planned to do this housework on Thursday but was then called in to sub in the preschool.  This left Friday morning to do our cleaning and baking...before noon.  We got a lot accomplished working together, and our home smelled wonderful.  While the different things were baking, we would work on the next recipe, or clean for a bit.

In those short four hours, we...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Change to Menu Madness

Instead of posting my week's menu before I try the recipes, I am going to try and start posting a few tried-and-true recipes that I tried from the previous week.  I think this will allow for more flexibility on my end, and allow you to know ahead of time that we have tried this, and whether or not we liked it.  I will say that there is seldom a time when we don't like something we eat.  What can I say?  my mister and I really enjoy eating.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Update on life

We are so thankful the season of cool breezes, comfy pj pants and hoodies, pumpkins, falling leaves, hot drinks, candy corn, browns and oranges is here.  We love fall.  I sit here sipping my hot chocolate after already having a cup of hot tea while doing my Bible study reading.  This season welcomes warm thoughts, and I love celebrating it with my husband.  Before marriage, we celebrated these things apart, and so this year, celebrating together has been a welcome change.  We are in love, and love the time we have together.

Menu Madness

Last week had many successes (I took a few more pictures this week).  I am thankful for a patient husband who is willing to be the guinea pig to my new recipes.  This week has me trying a new ingredient...sweet potatoes.  Growing up, we really didn't ever eat sweet potatoes.  I can count on one hand the times I remember having sweet potatoes and they were always in a delicious, yet extra sugary casserole.  I think this scared me, leading me to believe that they were a very bitter root that need all the help it could get.  I posted on facebook asking for people's favorite recipes using sweet potatoes and got an overwhelmingly positive response.  They were cheaper then potatoes this week at Aldis and it is my understanding that they are by far more nutritious.  I am very eager to experiment.

So hear you have it...this week's menu.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Meal Madness

Don't you just love rainy days?  I know I do.  I had an abundance of dishes to wash and other housework to do, and there is something wonderful about staying indoors when there is a cool drizzle going on outside.

Last week had some adjustments made, so you may see some repeats from last week.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Menu Madness

I am thankful for health...and medication!  This week has had me a bit under the weather.  I mentioned before learning that I was not feeling well due to allergies.  I had been working on that when I woke up Tuesday morning with a scratchy throat.  This progressed into a stuffy nose, dry eyes, and intense pain with the breathing.  As I told my mister, "I used to think a stuffy nose was the worse thing ever, then I thought it was the hardship to get a deep breath (experienced with the allergies), and now both of those seem so small compared to both of those, with pain in the chest whenever you took a breath or exhaled".  Long story short, I was at the doctor's getting tested for tuberculosis (a common thing when working with children), and I mentioned this to the doctor.  Come to find out, my enjoying the gorgeous weather was simply making my allergies exponentially worse.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Lessons in Life: Trust

For anyone who knows me (the Mrs.), you know that I am a worry wort at heart.  I will go to the extent of creating something in my head that will cause worry.  I have known for a long time that this is wrong, but recently, God has been working in my heart that in fact, this is sin.  I hate that word.  In my worry, I am sinning against God.  All praise due to Him, He has been working in my heart in life in a way that has driven me to work on it.  That is what makes this conviction different.

Worry is a sin, because it means I am not trusting Him.

I don't have to tell you that we live in a scary, sinful world.  You read/watch news for five minutes, and you will see that our world is rotten.  For a worrying person (and others, I am sure), that is very scary.  Even though we do not have news, and I rarely actually look up news, it still causes worry.  I can lay in bed at night not sleeping in fear of someone breaking into our home and hurting my husband, and then taking me captive.  As I write this, it sounds silly, I know.  But I will tell you (as some will fully understand), it is very real, and very scary.  I can create scenarios in my mind that will cause such intense worry.

The Lord began to work in my heart convicting me of the lack of trust I had in Him.  In church (around the time of conviction), Pastor quoted Isaiah 26:3

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

That was it.  I was done allowing myself to worry.  This became my verse in fighting against worry.  Here was a promise I had from God that HE would keep me in perfect peace (something I rarely experienced because worry had taken over my life).  This perfect peace comes from a trust in Him.

I have been replacing the worry in my life with quoting this verse as I trust in Him as my rock.  This has helped in my created worries, but then God provided a real life situation where our little family has been forced to place our trust in Him if we have any desire to not worry.

The mister and I were talking about this, in temptation to worry, when we had to realize:  we had been provided an opportunity to put trust into practice with a real life situation.  If we ask Him to take over, and allow Him to do so, He will draw us to Himself and prove Himself worthy of our trust (yet again) in ways we never would have experienced, were we not in this situation.

This causes us to fix our eyes on Jesus, and praise Him for His goodness as He ever so gently works in our hearts in this situation.  We serve a God who works with us where we are at, and provides opportunities where we get to change our head knowledge over to practical heart knowledge.

It is with humility though that we confess, this is much easier to say (and type), then to believe this.  We don't know what will happen, but we do know that:

  1. He is God
  2. He is good
  3. He will teach us
and if we allow Him, He will change us.  He will strengthen our trust in Him.  We are trusting in Him to work in and through us, as He changes my heart from worrying to trusting. 

How has God practically helped you learn trust in Him?  Comment below.

Here is a funny clip of the famous "trust fall".  Aren't you thankful God is ever present and always willing to pick us up after we fall?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

the continuing of life

This week has been a bit slower, and that has been wonderful.  I have been trying to work hard first to get our home picked up, to then be able to relax.  Last week was so busy, and we just felt it got the better of us.  Here are a few things going on in our lives...

Monday, September 9, 2013

Happy Birthday!

Let me start out with telling you that I have come to the realization that birthdays are such fun to plan for your spouse.  I have been thinking about my husbands birthday and planning it since before we were married.  Plans changed many times over, but that's okay.  The end result was a celebration to remember, as his birthday as a married man!

My sweet husband had his birthday on August 28th!  I am thankful for the many years the Lord has blessed this man with.  As a baby, there were some scary times due to his health.  This causes me to be all the more grateful to have him now.  Needless to say, he is healthy now!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

the life of Mrs. Miller

The Lord is gracious in the ways he provides for His children. My mister and I are very grateful for the jobs he has provided for the both of us. My husband works in aeronautical science.  He enjoys the work, and is very skilled at it.  I love that he is able to do what he loves as a career.  Our plan for the summer, was for me to take it off, as we settled into married life, and I worked on blending our lives together as a new family.  The Lord had different plans as the school I had applied at (for the school year) contacted me about being their lead teacher for their summer day camp program. The mister and I prayed and discussed this opportunity, and agreed that I should do it.  This job had its challenges, but all in all, it went quite well.

The school year was nearing, and I learned that the teaching positions at this school had all been filled.  I began applying at new schools, only to hear nothing.  There was one week left of summer day camp, the Christian school was starting on Monday, and I had no job.  On Sunday night, my supervisor for summer day camp (also the preschool director) approached me about the possibility of working with the preschool this summer.  I brought the information home and again my husband and I prayed about it and discussed it.  Once again, we were watching the Lord provide.  I accepted the offer.

So that brings us to now...

Hello.  My name is Mrs. Miller,

Friday, August 30, 2013

still here!

Why hello there.  It has been a while.  I find myself continuing to adjust to the responsibilities involved with being a wife, teacher, and most importantly a daughter of the king.  I do not work that many hours, yet, I still feel like I am home so little.  I love keeping our home and taking care of my husband, but at times, I find it difficult to balance it all.  My husband has been gracious and patient with me, as I am slow to learn.  I am thankful for how he helps.  I can honestly say he does the lion's share of the dishes for our family.  This is a huge help!

I mainly blog this post to give you a heads up that I have not left.  I am still here, and in fact have a few posts in the workings, so stay tuned!  To peak your interest, here a few that you can look forward to...

1. I have transitioned into my new job for the school year.  My title of Mrs. Miller will never grow old.  I love being a teacher.

2.  My husband had a birthday on Wednesday, and we are still celebrating.

3.  I am thankful to be involved in a Bible study for young wives.  We are studying David Platt's book Follow Me.  This has challenged me in so many ways, and I can't wait to share with you some of these ways.

So...don't lose hope.  I will be back, and there will be exciting posts to come!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

 On Saturday, my mister and I had our one year engagement anniversary.  On Sunday, it was our three month wedding anniversary (or as he refers to it as our quarter year anniversary).

Friday, August 9, 2013

To Never Grow Old

I am a newlywed.  More commonly than I should, I hate being called that.  I don't want people to know we just got married in May, but instead for them to think we have been married for a few years.  Another reason I hate people to call me a newlywed is because far too often, I feel belittled by that title.  "Aww, you don't know anything yet." "You just wait, you won't keep that up." "You do that now, but give it time and you won't."  These are the comments that make me hate being called a newlywed.  I never want to grow old to the point that I loose the spark that too many people consider only for newlyweds.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

full freezer

My husband and I love blueberries...I mean we love them!  This being said, we were so happy to be able to go to some nearby relatives' home and pick some blueberries.  We figure we picked just shy of four gallons.  We froze the majority of them, but kept some our fresh for enjoyment, and then baked a blueberry streusel pie....together (everything is better when done together).  We also made bo-berry biscuits later on in the week.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

these are a few of my favorite things

#1) God.  I believe this goes without saying, but what I am most thankful for about my God is that I can have a personal relationship with Him.  He is perfect and the one I can trust completely.

#2) Family.  My family structure has changed a bit in the past few months.  I got married and my husband and I became a family.  I am thankful for him more then he, or I, will ever know.  I grew up in a wonderful family as well where my parents loved me, and each other.  I have three siblings who are some of my best friends.  Also through marriage, I gained my husband's family!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

birthday, baking, blessing

I love our little family of two.  Just yesterday I was thinking about how much I love coming home from work.  Don't get me wrong, I love my job, but when my husband is at home waiting for me, he trumps my students.  He does so well on keeping a close eye on the time, and an ear to the door, in order to welcome me home and opening the door for me.  I am so blessed to be married to this man.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Name Change

My name has changed, and so has my blog name.  I thoroughly enjoyed carrying my maiden name for the first twenty-one years of my life.  My family has made it a good name, and one with heritage.  Upon marriage though, I was proud to change my name to now hold my husband's last name.  What a joy that is.  Being a teacher, I get to hear my name numerous times each day...and I love it!  A name change offers refreshment and a new light to things.  It marks a something new.

Since marrying my sweetheart, we have become one, that is biblical.  We have enjoyed the beginning of blending our lives together and making new traditions for our new family.  It is fun learning how the other was raised, and then together deciding on how things will be done in our home.  We most certainly have a conglomeration from his home, my home, and from the homes of various families who have impacted our lives.  It is an adventure we are thoroughly enjoying.

With this, the blog will take a slight change.  This is no longer a blog about my life, but about our life.  With that, I am changing the title of this blog from "Rebekah's Blog" to "Our Little Family".  Even though there are only two of us, we are a new family now.  The word family is such a sweet word and I enjoy using it.  I try to refrain from overusing the word "couple", because while we are that, we are a family as well.  In future years, we hope to watch our little family grow, but for now, we are a little family.

We want this blog to be a journal and sharing of the goodness of God!  Our meeting is evidence of God's goodness.  Our relationship throughout the years is proof of God's goodness.  Our engagement is a showing of God's goodness, and finally our marriage screams God's goodness on our lives.  We can't contain our happiness as we bask in His goodness.  Therefore, we must vent and share the fun happenings we are experiencing on our walk with our Savior.  While I will still be the primary blogger, our goal is to draw your attention not only to His goodness in our life, but His workings of goodness in your life as well.  Bask in it!

So without further ado...my husband and I share our lives with you as we thank God for His goodness!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I love teaching, second to being a wife!

I feel like I have been starting the past several blogs all the same way.  With, "God is so good!" The English grammar side of me says to use variation, yet there are no other words....God is so good!  I find myself constantly basking in His goodness, and so thankful for this phase of life I am in right now...it's summer time and I get to be a wife and teacher!  Doesn't get much better then that (with the exception of being a teacher-mom, several years down the road).

Friday, June 21, 2013

Our Professionally Done Pictures

Daniel and I chose to have Bob and Laurie Walters do the photography for our wedding.  Please do not copy or edit any of these pictures, but do feel free to continually come back to keep looking at them, if you so choose.  I must agree, my husband is incredibly handsome, and my niece and nephew are as cute as they come.  I don't blame you a bit!  Anyways....check out the Walter's website.  If you want a little explanation of what might be happening in some of these pictures (for instance, in the ceremony), look back at this post.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Our home!

We are so very thankful to the Lord for how He has provided.  He led us to this apartment through his sister who lives in the area, and He has provided what we need through so many of you.  We thank you for your gifts, love, and support.  We love our little home, and are settling in nicely.  There are still a few things I want to do, but some I still have yet to make.

So....Daniel and I welcome you to take a tour of our home....Apartment 32.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Loving Life....

May I just say that I love being married to Daniel?!  It is blissful joy.  I enjoy blogging, but enjoy marriage much much more, therefore blogging has taken a back burner.  Another reason is because I have lost my camera card in the move making me realize this post will be boring without it.  I am simply a woman madly in love, and hardly able to focus on anything but that.  I will try and keep in mind though that you do not care to read all about my blissful marriage to my best friend.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A picture is worth a thousand words...Wedding!

Once again, another important event in my life...our wedding!  It goes without saying, but it was a beautiful day, and I have so much to write about, but not enough time, nor room.  So instead, I resort to photographs.  These have been taken by a variety of people and compiled together for this post.  Photo credits go to (but are not limited to): Mom Hewitt, Mom Miller, and Grandma Meigs!

Friday, May 17, 2013

A picture is worth a thousand words...Graduation

We all know I can get a bit long winded at times, and graduation was a spectacular life event, and so it is predetermined that I would get long winded, and bore you to death.  Therefore, I am going to refrain from telling you all the details, and instead post pictures that I have gotten from my Mom.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Week #12

Can you believe I am done with student teaching and graduating in less than a week?  It seems so surreal.  I had a wonderful experience with student teaching and would not trade it for the world.  I learned so much and grew in so many ways (not to say I don't still have need for growth).  I am just about done with college.  I have grown to love West Virginia, and am sad to leave.  This has been my life the past four years.  I told Daniel yesterday, that I am thankful I have exciting things in my future, because it makes saying goodbyes a bit easier.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Week #11

I can hardly believe that I only have one week left of student teaching.  This brings mixed emotions, to be sure.

We had our achievement testing this week, so the schedule was way off.  My students did so well though with the testing, and having positive attitudes about sitting silent for so long.  I am so proud of them.  This meant that I essentially had all morning of sitting still and quiet in the back too.  I was able to get a lot of work done though, for which I am thankful.

The students have been learning about contractions, so for a learning center, I made several contraction flowers.  They are laminated separate from the stems/leaves, so the students have to match them up.

 We have also been traveling across America visiting different landmarks of our country.  As a cross curricular activity, the students each made a Flat Stanley, that we sent to different people across the country. Here are a few pictures I have gotten back, signifying their state...

 Flat Ella in Virginia with the Dogwood flower.

Flat Stanley in Pennsylvania at the Steamboat Inn in Lancaster. 

Flat Ella in North Carolina in the cockpit of a commercial flight. The Wright Brothers had their first flight in North Carolina.

I had wanted to post this last week, but clearly that did not happen.  My sweet host teacher gave me a gift to help relax for the PRAXIS.  She has been a huge blessing.

I had my last observation this week, and am working on tying up all loose ends as I finish student teaching on Thursday.  Friday is our senior day, and then next week is post student teaching meetings, and then Bible Conference.  I graduate in two weeks--WOW.  I get married in three weeks--WOWER!  So thankful for the Lord carrying me and allowing me such blessings.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Week #10

It was so good to be back after being gone for Spring Break, oh how I love my students.  I have a natural tendency to get sad simply anticipating a sad event. This is no exception.  I find myself getting teary realizing that very soon I will be done attending Daniels Bible Church, and will be done teaching in this precious first grade classroom.  I am thankful there is great excitement though in my future to counteract the sadness of phases of my life ending.  I will admit, I don't expect to miss the college scene too much, though that is not to say I did not enjoy my college days.

I dropped Bible and Reading this week, which was an adjustment.  I have been teaching those two subjects for several weeks.  I learned a lot though in observing from the perspective of having done it. 

The weather was spectacular, allowing us to go outside.  My host teacher had mentioned that I would notice a huge change in the demeanor of my students once they were outside...this could not have been more true.  They are ready to sit for classes when they have been outside in the fresh air, allowed to run around, scream, and wiggle, to their heart's content.  It is also nice for the teacher to sit outside and get some warmth during student teaching.

Yesterday, I took my PRAXIS (test determining if I am eligible for my state licensure).  I could never have imagined how exhausted I would be.  It affected me a lot more then I remember the SAT or ACT ever affecting me. I was thankful to have a dear friend go with me, also taking the test.  We both walked out, took a deep breath, and simply said "I never want to have to do that again".  We were famished hungry (after a good hearty breakfast and nutritious snack between the two tests) and so decided to get some lunch.  The results are scheduled to come out on Daniel and my wedding day.  I ask that you not ask me about it though on my wedding day, haha.

This upcoming week is our standardized achievement testing.  I am eager to observe it from the perspective of a teacher rather then the student taking them.  I technically give Language and Math over to my host teacher this week, but because of the testing schedule, I will be in charge of afternoon activities and she will be in charge of all morning activities (including testing). 

The teachers try to not do any traditional academics this week, just to alleviate the pressure of testing.  It works out well as I had several PE activities that I needed to get in before I left, so we are doing lots of fun activities in the afternoon.  Another fun afternoon activity is a project where the students are designing their machine to do a first grade chore. It will be fun to see what comes of this.

I had hoped to put pictures in this post, but alas, there are only words.  I thank you for your continued prayers, Only 2 weeks left of student teaching, 3 weeks until graduation, and 4 weeks until I become a Mrs!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring Break

Spring break is done, and I am back at teaching.  Thankfully I love what I do so much that going back wasn't too hard...besides being exhausted.  Last night I was having panic attacks in my sleep from nightmares.  This is my second restless night of wedding detail nightmares.  A wedding is wonderful, but involves far too many details.  The one part I most particularly remember from the nightmare is that the food we had lined up for the reception didn't work out at the last minute and we ended up having to serve our guests popcorn.  That is a terrifying nightmare... let me tell you!

My spring break involved a lot of traveling.  Having no school on Friday, I was able to head down to Charlotte.  I made it just in time for my eye appointment.  There was a bit of traffic, but I still made it.  Early Saturday morning I went to work with Daniel and caught my flight.  The flights were not looking probable at all, but, Praise the Lord, I made the flights and landed in Albany soon after 11. Tim, Beth, and Evan picked me up.  Needless to say, this aunt did not mind sitting in the back with her quickly growing nephew.

I was able to spend a few days at home working on wedding details. I specifically took Sunday off though to celebrate Easter with my family and friends.  What a fun time that was.  We had over 20 people at our home.  So thankful for the lessons I have learned from my mom on hospitality.

I flew back to Charlotte Tuesday evening and then had Wednesday and Thursday morning with my mister. We explored our new city and simply enjoyed being with each other.  It is a beautiful city, and I am excited to learn what the Lord has for us together in this city.  Please continue to pray as I look around for job opportunities to teach.  Daniel's commute is down to 20-25 minutes, and is still enjoying his job and doing well at it.

It was an eventful trip home with rain, sleet, rain, freezing rain, heavy traffic, construction, and accidents, but the Lord protected me and my car, for which I praise Him.  I got home after about 5.5 hours.

Friday afternoon, my future mother-in-law came in for the weekend.  Saturday afternoon was my bridal shower at my church here.  The ladies were extremely generous.  It was a very special time.  To introduce themselves, they said how they knew me, as well as one piece of advice.  I received wonderful insight from these dear ladies that I will forever treasure.

Sunday was church and a time to catch up from break.  For small groups, we celebrated Easter with an egg hunt.

Monday, though having had a wonderful break, I was eager to go back to school and see all of my kiddos.  This week, I give Bible and Reading back to my host teacher.  Please be in specific prayer for me this weekend as I take my PRAXIS test on Saturday.  My first part is at 7am, and the other 10:45am.  I am extremely nervous, to say the least. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Week #9

I am officially on spring break, and done with full control.  Where the time is going, I do not know.  This week was easy in the sense that I only went to school two days, and those days weren't even full instruction days.

We had a snow day on Monday and Tuesday.  I was able to get a lot of wedding planning done, as well as study for my PRAXIS...what an unexpected blessing this was.

We had a delay on Wednesday, but still went to school.  I felt very refreshed and happy to be with the students.  It was a wonderful feeling.  I felt more patient and energetic.  I had not really noticed how worn out I had gotten, but the two snow days took care of that no sweat.

Due to the snow days and delay yesterday, waking up this morning at the regular time was a bit difficult, to say the least.  I had been spoiled into a more relaxed lifestyle...shame on me, haha.  Today was far from normal, but that far from normal was fabulous!  We just finished the story of Moses and so as a special treat, I allowed my students to watch Disney's The Prince of Egypt.  The students then went to library for their Thursday special.  When they got back, we reviewed manners used when a guest speaker is present.  We reviewed these manners because we had a very special visitor coming in.  Last semester, my class (obviously, my not being involved) write letters to their classmate's uncle who was a soldier over in Afghanistan.  He is back stateside and wanted to express his appreciation of their notes by giving them a flag that flew at his base while he was over there.  What a valuable experience this was for the students.  The local newspaper got word of our special visitor and asked to come over too.  Our class should be featured in the local newspaper tomorrow.  This too was a valuable experience for my students as we have been talking about the symbols of America, the flag being one of them.  What a special time this was.  Our day wrapped up with an Easter party!

My plan is to get some rest tonight as it is my first night of spring break.  I will head down to Charlotte tonight to meet my mister as he gets off work and then spend the evening with him and his parents.  I will fly home first thing Saturday morning before Daniel goes to work.  I will not be able to be home for long, but mainly to get some things decided for the wedding, and spend Easter with my precious family.  I fly back to Charlotte Tuesday evening and come back here Thursday.  I hope and plan to rest and work on school work my last few days of break.  I love my living arrangements this year as I will be able to rest and "be home" without having a long drive the day before classes resume.

Only three weeks left of student teaching once I get back from break.  From now on, I begin giving the classes back to my host teacher.  I am three quarters of the way through student teaching...yikes!

That's all for now folks...check back next week to read about the adventures of a teacher on break!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Week #8

This was a wonderful week!  I am getting in the swing of things and loving the flexibility of being full control.  Last week's post expressed my hardships, but I would like to now share the other side of things...I have been thinking long and hard about how to solve what I see as problems (students failing tests).

After much time spent evaluating, I think I have discovered one of the problems, and it is me.  A lot of my review and teaching time has been passive.  The students could easily tune me out and not be involved.  When I call on them, they answer the question, and then tune back out.  So...I have planned ten practice problems, but they are only reaping the benefits of one practice problem.

Trying to mend this problem, I have worked to revamp my time teaching and reviewing to involve all students at all times.  On the spelling test this week...I saw the rewards!  It was so exciting.  I am eager to see how it worked in math and phonics.

We have finished our study on Moses, and will conclude it by watching The Prince of Egypt this week.  I am excited to hear my students response when I tell them about this!

On Friday, the majority of our classes were review, via stations.  The students love stations because it involves several games, done in short periods of times.  I believe my students favorite game is a matching game with homonyms (language).  I find great joy in watching my students have fun learning.

On the wedding side of things...planning is progressing quite nicely.  Kari went with me on Tuesday to get my dress altered.  I was thankful for her company, and the two of us had such fun making an evening of it!  We enjoyed dinner with a mutual friend (who is another student teacher) and sharing stories.  We then giggled almost the entire way back.  I think we both needed that time.  I am very thankful for her friendship!

Today, I am snuggled up on the couch watching the snow fall and You've Got Mail...Happy Snow Day!  I am enjoying my day immensely  though I find myself missing my students.  I had this week meticulously planned full of fun activities, and some of those will have to go now.  Easter break begins Friday, and I plan to go to Vermont on Saturday after spending the evening with Daniel and my future in-laws.

It is Week #9 and my last week with full control.  After break, I will give Bible and Reading back to Genna, then Language and Math in Week #11.  Week #12 is my last week of student teaching and I give Phonics, Spelling, and History back.  I can hardly believe this phase of my life is quickly approaching an end.

Please be praying for me as I study for my PRAXIS (equivalent to the boards for a lawyer, or doctor/nurse), work on my e-portfolio, and travel this upcoming week.  I appreciate your prayers, and hope you stay warm as winter closes out with a bang!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Week #7

I am going to be honest with you....life has picked up, and very very quickly.  I feel as though both wedding planning and student teaching have gone full forward.  I am tired and simply finding their are not enough moments in a day.  My fiancé is so good... he answered his phone tonight (after midnight) after I call crying because one of my students failed a test.  I never knew this would affect me this way, but at the same time am thankful for the love and genuine care that the Lord has given me towards my students.  Daniel listened to me blab on and on about my woes, and simply reminded me of his love and prayed with me.  He prayed for my students.  Ladies, find yourself a man who brings your many sorrows to the Lord with you.

I promise, week 7 was good...great in fact!  I love having full control.  It really gives a whole new perspective on teaching.  I love the flexibility it offers, and the many opportunities for cross curricular application.  I still enjoy teaching language the most, but I also really enjoy teaching spelling.  There are so many games that can be played with spelling and I enjoy researching and implementing them into my lesson.

Monday started with oversleeping...I never ever want to relive that feeling.  I woke up at 7:53 and was at school by 8:03.  Without going into long detail, I was really able to see God at work through this situation though.

Daniel drove to VA on Tuesday to finish loading stuff that had been stored at his grandparent's.  On Wednesday he got the keys to our apartment.  I hated missing this experience with him, but we both knew that I needed to stay here.  Him and his parents put in some long hours.  I have seen pictures and a personalized Skype tour of the apartment and am pleased.  It will be a nice first home for us.  Thankful for how the Lord provides, both big and small.

The week finished off very well with school.  I find my eyes being more opened to the reality of the many hats a teacher wears.  Teaching her students is one of many expectations of a teacher.  I am learning a lot from my host teacher and asking questions galore.

Pray for strength this week, as I am tired.  Pray for clarity of mind as I think and teach, and pray that my teaching would be clear to the students.   I also ask that you pray for my students.  I have nine sweet first graders (3 girls, and 6 boys).  If there is any way I could pray for you, I would be delighted to, please just let me know!  Take care!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Week #6

I am halfway through student teaching and it hardly seems possible.  This is a huge time in student teaching, as it comes with great excitement, nervousness, fear, joy...and the list could go on.  I am peaking the hill, only to find time going quicker, and my heart falling more in love with my students, the staff, and this school in general.

I was mentioning today how much I enjoy grading papers.  I know...you don't hear that too often.  If I have to do work in the evenings (which is almost always), I would rather grade papers then write lesson plans.  I say this because grading papers is a time I grow close to my students, and my eyes are opened to their personalities, their strengths, and their needs.  I see areas in need of improvement, and am provided with areas in which I may praise them.  I find this time very revealing as it grows my love and passion for these dear little ones.

Student teachers have said before "this is your first ever class, and they will always hold a special place in your heart".  This could not be closer to the truth.  These are the students patiently going through this experience with me, and teaching me so much.  What an awesome experience this has been.

Week #6 was insanely crazy as we had Dr. Seuss week, mixed with a week of snowy weather.  The weather brought a snow day, and two 2-hour delays.  My teacher self shone brightly, as I questioned "how am I going to teach them what they are supposed to learn this week when I don't have enough time?"  Don't misunderstand me though...I loved those extra hours too!  It was a week of stretching me in flexibility (which I told my professor at the beginning of the year I needed to work on this...a key attribute needed by every teacher).

We had spirit days, extra assemblies, and my host teacher and I tried to tie Dr. Seuss in every place we could.  For math, I used goldfish as manipulatives for the day when we acted out Dr. Seuss' famous book, One Fish, Two Fish, Blue Fish, Red Fish.  I created story problems into relating to Dr. Seuss, and we did crafts every day.  An art lesson I taught was in making a Lorax paper bag hand puppet.  They turned out so cute!

In starting math this week, I learned 30 minutes is simply not enough time at all to teach math.  I have so many fun games I want to do with the kids, and not enough time.  This was also revealing to me in how many times you have to teach a concept before they actually get it.  This has been teaching me patience.

Week #7 is quickly approaching, and that means FULL CONTROL.  My host teacher is in the room (most of the time), but I am the teacher, teaching everything and leading every activity and minute of the day from when they walk in the room, until they walk out the door to get in the car to go home.  I am excited about this, yet also nervous as this brings a lot more responsibility, and a lot more paperwork.  Being at week #7, I find myself completely overwhelmed with the paperwork and extra side requirements.  I am frantically trying to keep up and to [as I am constantly reminding my students] do it for the Lord, not for man!  I ask that you join me in praying that I not be overcome with paperwork, but instead that I endure in this journey, and that I seek to please the Lord above all else.

On a side note from student teaching, I am submitting another resume to a school down in North Carolina.  A friend of mine knows this church and spoke with the school administrator last week, who expressed great interest and said to "send the resume".  I am eager to begin hearing back from the schools and to learn more.  This particular school is just under a mile from Daniel's and my apartment.

Which brings me to...Daniel is moving into our apartment this week!  We are thankful for the housing that the Lord has provided for Daniel thus far, but are also very excited about the realities we are seeing in our future life together.  His parents will help him move in, for which we are so thankful.  Moving here will cut his commute to work just about in half.  How special it is to watch the Lord work.

Considering the time, I am going to close off this blog entry.  Yes, I am busy, but I appreciate those of you who use this to pray for me (and Daniel).  You are a blessing in my life, and I want to keep you updated on how He is answering your prayers.  Check back next week to hear how FULL CONTROL week went!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Week #5

I didn't forget this time!  This has been a weekend of lists, but I have gotten a ton done!  Week #5 was a full week with two two-hour delays.

I enjoyed adding Language to my teaching this week!  I was nervous as ever about filling up the time, but I ended up with the opposite problem...I wished I had more time.  We were able to play lots of games, and I was so impressed with the students in how they used technical terms...this is the prefix found before the root word.  They are in first grade!  They make me a proud teacher (Genna taught them this, not me).

All other activities continued to go well.  We finished Junie B. Jones and are now reading Flat Stanley.  They enjoy this book, but not as much as Junie.  I continue to enjoy teaching Bible and Reading.

I take on full control next week.  This adds 2-3 additional classes worth of lesson plans.  That has been my biggest struggle in student teaching...keeping up with the paperwork.  Please pray that I be able to get those lesson plans written this week.  Another struggle of mine is teaching music.  I need to get some of these done, and my human nature wants to put them off.  Please pray also that I be able to get done all of the miscellaneous requirements.  I am just about halfway through my time of student teaching, it hardly seems possible.

I thank you for reading this post, but this tired teacher must get some shut eye.  The morning comes early!  Goodnight folks!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Week #4

What a week and weekend.  Life is crazy insane and I don't see it slowing down until I get back from my honeymoon in just under twelve weeks. 

It was a wonderful week though with a fabulous ending...I was able to be the full time student teacher on Friday!  I absolutely loved it.  Genna had everything planned and set out so that made it a lot easier, but still, I really enjoyed it.  The students were very well  behaved and knew they would not get away with anything different from me.

Teaching Bible and Reading also went very well.  I had been very nervous about teaching reading, only because it was two groups, at different levels.  The Lord helped me though and I ended up really enjoying it.

This week began the lack of sleep though and has me quite tired.  It didn't help that the weekend was crazy busy between working and church activities.

I am in week #5 now though and have added Language to my teaching.  I apologize for this being late, but thank you for your faithful support.  Let me know how you are doing and how I may most specifically pray for you!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Week #3

I can hardly believe that I am a quarter of the way through student teaching and get to marry Daniel twelve weeks from yesterday.  My how time flies when you are having fun.

I taught Bible this week.  I had a lot of fun doing it.  Unlike the other subjects, we do not have a "Teaching Bible" class because they assume between our Bible classes (content) and our other teaching classes (technique), that we did not need a class specifically for "Teaching Bible".  I can see the wisdom in that, but it still left me a little nervous, so that is why I did it first (that is how I do things).  I ended up really enjoying teaching this and trying to pass on an excitement for God's Word.  I had my first really big blunder though.  Our memory verse was Psalm 23:5.  We have been working on Psalm 23:1-4 since before I got there.  I have known these verses for years, but froze up.  It was a humbling experience.

I taught an art lesson for both first grade classes.  I was nervous with this because of not knowing the other students, but knowing some of their needs.  It all went well (thanks to the help of the two teaches) and the students really enjoyed the project.  We decorated boxes for their valentines.  The students did this by cutting up lots of pieces of red and pink paper and gluing them to their box.  They then put a sign on their box that read "I love you to pieces!"  I was impressed with how well they all turned out.

I led another PE game and continued Read Aloud.  Both of these went well.  I love the opportunities I have to work with the students.

This week also held some fun celebrations with Valentine's Day.  Tuesday afternoon, I had a handsome visitor waiting for me when I got out of school.  Daniel came up and took me out to olive Garden for Valentine's Day.  We vowed to not talk about school or the wedding.  That ban in conversation was needed and well enjoyed for its time.  I also had fun doing some extra baking for the holiday.  Here are a few pictures!

 The valentines that I made for my students were pencils and a maze that read "You are a-MAZE-ing!"
I made strawberry cake chocolate chip cookies.  I had never made cake cookies, but was impressed with how they turned out.  One cake mix made over three dozen.  The recipe can be found here

I also made some white chocolate covered pretzels with heart sprinkles, but I have a student allergic to milk, so I made goodie bags for some of the girls here on campus.  So they got some pretzels and strawberry cake chocolate chip cookies! 

All of the valentines all ready to go to school with me.
This upcoming week, I add reading to the classes I teach on top of the things I have been doing.  I appreciate your reading this blog and for your support.  Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Week #2

My second week began with a snow day being called on Sunday evening.  It was fun knowing ahead of time.  Monday morning I was able to speak in advisor's chapel on campus.  It is different being in these shoes, but I pray I was able to help some of the el ed students see how worth it is.  I don't sugar coat things....it is HARD!  But....it is so worth it when you know this is what God has.

I was able to observe four other classes this week, which was fun.  I went in consecutive order which I found very interesting to see the progression in development.  It was fun seeing the variety in teaching styles too.  I learned a lot, to be sure!

I started read aloud this week.  We are reading Junie B. Jones is a Party Animal! I love this time because the students are absolutely captivated by reading.  I make it my personal goal to read with SO much expression...and we all have a blast.

I taught my first two 'real' lessons this week.  On Wednesday, we played Musical Hula Hoops and Rabbit/Coyote.  The students seemed to really enjoy it.  The noise level was hard because we had to do it in the cafeteria with preschoolers napping just down the hallway.  Hopefully we didn't wake any sleeping bears.

On Thursday, I taught an art lesson.  We started the story of Moses and so we made "Moses in the Blushes".  They practiced their skills with scissors.  They colored a picture of baby Moses in a basket, cut it out, and glued it on a blue piece of paper.  They then traced their hands on green paper and cut them out to make the bulrushes.  When glue only at the bottom of the palm, they are able to push the fingers/bulrushes back and see Moses.  They did such a great job, maybe pictures next week!

Parent teacher conferences were on Friday.  It was a little nerve-wracking before they occurred, but my host teacher handled it so well and put me to ease.  I was able to meet two of my students' parents.  It was such a great experience to be able to learn from my host teaching in this setting.

This coming week I start teaching Bible.  I will continue the story of Moses as well as we will add Psalm 23:5 to our Bible memory (they are so good with it).  With it being Valentine's day on Thursday we have some special activities planned.  I will continue Read Aloud (all twelve weeks), probably do another PE lesson, probably another art lesson, learning center, teaching aid, technology highlights, and so on!  If you are praying for me, I thank you!

Also this week, I have a special visitor coming....my sweet fiancé!  He wont be up long, but I will take him for as long as I can.
Well folks, this teacher has turned into an ole fuddy duddy and 9:45 means bed time.  So I thank you for taking interest in this great  adventure that the Lord is leading me through called Student Teaching!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Week #1

I have successfully completed my first week of student teaching.  It was wonderful to meet the students that I have been praying for.  I have nine precious little first graders in my class.  My host teacher is a friend from college.  She has been a great help in offering experiential advice, information on the students, and what she expects from me.

Unfortunately, by Monday evening, I had picked up some kind of illness.  It is slowly but surely getting better, I think.  It has been in my head, so my ears ache, my nose throbs, my eyes hurt, my teeth hurt, and I am very dizzy a lot of the time.  The Lord has given me the strength to keep going though, and I am so thankful.  I cannot afford to miss any.  Several of the students have been in and out with sickness as well.  Please pray for health, not only for me, but for my class too!

To be honest, life has me rather overwhelmed and stressed right now, but when I take a step back and look, I am thankful for the causes of stress.  I am thankful that the Lord has carried me through four years of college, and gotten me to this point.  He has increased my work load, enabling me to accomplish each step of the way.  The requirements of student teaching will be no exception.  I am thankful for a Godly man that I love and get to marry!  The wedding plans are very stressful right now as (Praise the Lord) our wedding day is quickly approaching.  I am getting a lot of help though from several dear people, helping relieve a bit of the stresses.  I am thankful for a solid Bible church where I am able to attend, worship, and teach publicly.  Why it is so easy to lose sight of the blessing that is, I will never know.  I am thankful that I am about to graduate and will be qualified to teach.  I am thankful for the open doors that the Lord is providing.  Yes, filling out employment applications is not something I have loads of time to do, but I am thankful for how He is opening doors.  So...all in all, I am working hard to focus on the blessings behind the stresses.

The topic of future job is in the making!  I have sent a letter of interest to schools around the area that Daniel and I plan to live.  All glory to God, I have heard back from two!  Neither one was a definite, but the door was not closed for which I am thankful.  This has added more to my work load, but again, Daniel and I are thankful for the open doors and possible opportunities.

as mentioned above, Daniel and my wedding day is quickly approaching...in fact, we are down to double digits!  He is such a huge support and help as I finish up my schooling.

I hope you all have a wonderful week.  Check back next week to read how Week #2 went.  I will be teaching an art lesson, an indoor PE lesson, and creating a learning center!

Friday, January 25, 2013

entering a new phase

Student teaching orientation has come to a completion, I have said my goodbyes to my fellow teachers, and we are all about to embark on this new phase of life...student teaching.  Where has the time gone?  I know this semester will fly by, and it is my hope and prayer that I keep up with it and make the most of the time I have.  I am about to meet my first ever class and I am excited.  I know I will never class as they hold a special place in my life as my first class.  I do not know anything more then their names at this point, but by this next time next week, that will be totally different.  What an awesome responsibility God has entrusted me with, and I only pray I use this time to its fullest.

I have a few areas I will be praying for myself with, and welcome you to join me.
  •  That I continually deepen my relationship with Christ, providing my students with a positive example.  I pray that they will be able to follow me as I follow Him.
  •  That I keep the proper perspective that I am in the ministry of people.  The academics and tasks are important, but the people are what matter.
  • That the Lord give me a genuine love for my students and host teacher.
Please also remember my fellow teachers as you remember me in prayer.  There are four other senior el Ed students doing student teaching this semester.

My goal is to update my blog weekly about life as a teacher, so check back often.  I thank you for reading and supporting me in this amazing call on my life.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Student Teaching Orientation

I have been back on campus for a week and a half and while I still marvel at the fact that I am preparing for two of my greatest dreams, I am overwhelmed by the high calling of both.

We have been spending many hours in the classroom learning the requirements we have for student teaching.  This is the most overwhelming part for me.  I am excited to teach the students and learn from my host teacher, but I am nervous about keeping organized and on top of all of the additional requirements for student teaching.  I expect this to be my busiest semester yet (which I can't imagine life being any busier then certain past semesters), but I am eager to look back on it and see how the Lord grew me and sustained me during this time.

In addition to student teaching orientation, we have been doing some PRAXIS II study sessions.  There are two parts to this test that I will take on April 13th.  I have already passed the PRAXIS I (my sophomore year), and am much more nervous about this one.  This one is the technical specialized test that determines if I become certified or not.  All prayers are needed and appreciated.

We are taking one official class as well in our time.  We are taking "Teaching PE, Health, and Safety".  I have really enjoyed this class and specifically in learning about some of the inner workings of our body.  For instance, if you want to be improving in your health and fitness, your heart rate needs to reach 65-80% of your maximum heart rate.  Want to know your maximum heart rate?  Take 220 (what it is at birth) and subtract your age.  I have enjoyed learning this but am nervous about teaching PE in the school.  There are a lot of requirements for this class which are also a bit daunting.

Finally, we are also going through CPR and first aid training.  I have already taken both last year with being an RA but it expires this year (2 year certification), so it was good timing.  I feel like I am catching on to the CPR much better this year, but hope and pray I never actually have to use it.  They have just recently gotten new dummies for the CPR that are more life like in the "feel".  It is much more difficult on these new ones.  My palms and wrists are literally bruised and my arms very sore.  I am thankful for this training though and feel so much more comfortable with it this year.

So there you have it.  My life is kept fairly busy with the above.  When not in one of these, I am usually sitting on my bed working on my e-portfolio, or reading Called to Teach.

How are wedding plans coming alone? you may ask.  The bridesmaid's dresses have been ordered and shipped.  I am just praying fervently that they are right, fit, and everything works out with them.  We also hired a photographer over Christmas break, excited to have them capture our special day!  There is a bit of stuff we will be working on in the near future, life just has a way of being insane.

I hope this update finds you doing well, and refreshed in the Lord.  Feel free to drop me a note or give me a call, I would love to hear from you!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

what a high calling

It's Saturday morning and so I allowed my body to sleep in...my eyes open and it is 8:11.  Thankful for God's provision in housing for this semester. I have a bed to sleep in and a roof over my head.  I decided to get some reading done.  For student teaching orientation, we are reading a book by Kenneth O. Gangel titled, Called to Teach.   All you teacher friends out there, I highly suggest this book. It takes a biblical approach on our role as a teacher.

While reading, I am overwhelmed by God's goodness.  When I step back and look at my life, I see clearly that I am actively working on two of my biggest dreams in life: [a] to become a teacher, and [b] to become a wife.  Such a high calling in both of these dreams, but I feel (without any doubt in my mind) that this is a call of God on my life.  I have no words to describe the emotions that go into this.

When this all boils down, my high callings have a huge affect on people.  In reading this book, I am continually reminded of how much more is involved with being a teacher beyond teaching academics.  I am a model to them day in and day out and whether I like it or not, they will be imitating me.  What kind of person will I be for them to imitate?  My heart desire is for my students to become more like Christ.  I need to not just be a good moral person for them to follow, but to be a reflection of Christ Himself for my students to imitate. I am reminded of  1 Corinthians 11:1 "Be ye followers of me, as I am also of Christ."

This requires work...hard work.  A lot boils down to my personal relationship with Christ.  It has to be real and genuine.  This is so partially so my students will have a relationship with Christ as their teacher does (or better), but also so that when they imitate me, they are imitating Christ.  I do know though that I will never be a fully accurate image of Christ, so I pray that I will have humility to admit to my students that I am far from perfect and do not give an accurate image of Christ and they must therefore spend their energy ultimately imitating Christ, not me.

As a future wife I am first of all overjoyed with God's generosity in allowing me to enter into such a relationship.  Already I am learning so much more about Christ through my relationship with my fiancé.  May our relationship be a reflection of Christ and the love He has for His bride.

Neither of these tasks will be easy, but I am doing my best to first and foremost work and deepen my relationship with Christ.  I am secondly working on what I can do to prepare: read books, talk to others who have been through it, and pray for wisdom in both situations.  I ask that you join me in praying for these two exciting dreams ahead of me. I praise the Lord for how HE has directed me in this journey and brought me to this preparation phase of my life towards two of my greatest dreams!

Monday, January 7, 2013

come and gone

[all photo credit goes to my Mom]

Christmas break has come and gone.  Where it has gone, I have not the faintest idea.  Lord willing, I catch a flight out of Burlington this evening down to Charlotte.  This break has been quite eventful starting with a few days with that amazing fiance of mine (no pictures on this computer), and then up here for the remainder.  

Of course we had to get some Christmas baking in for the ambiance of Christmas.  Almond sugar cookies were the cookie of choice.  While we ladies baked, Dad worked his magic making Mom's kitchen beautiful. For those of you who do not know, my Dad is a contractor and my parents are building their home.  We have been in the house over 10 years, and it is a slow process, but the kitchen getting done has been HUGE!

 We celebrated our family Christmas on the 25th.  Here is our family shot for this year.  I am adding to the family next year...with a husband!
I loved the wifely/housekeeping gifts I got this year.  My mom made this apron with no specific pattern.  The neckline is adjustable and the apron is reversible.  The colors are perfect for our upcoming kitchen.  Mom, you are wonderful!

On the 29th, my sister (Maid of Honor) and mom had planned a bridal shower.  They went all out and made it an extra special time.  There was a blizzard that morning, but even with the weather conditions, we had 32 ladies out.  What an honor!  
 My mom made the cake (amazing, yet again), prepared several sweet breads (with the addition of an Aloha bread from my Grandma), crackers, cheese, grapes, carrots, broccoli and lemonade (provided by a dear lady at our church). Mom did a fabulous job preparing and planning the finger foods out. 

 Sarah was our lovely host who had prepared several fun activities and games.  She put a lot of time into it, making it such a special time.  Thanks, Sis!

 We had a fun time with my Mom's extended family, though missing my Uncle Dan.

 Much to our "kind of" surprise, Uncle Dan showed up!  I say kind of because he is the king of surprises, so to an extent it is not a surprise, haha.  It was so good to have him, his friend, and his new little puppy with us.

 Actually before the family all came, Dad finished his masterpiece...my Mom's kitchen.  Watching him work on this gave me a new appreciation for his carpentry.  He is truly an artist and very talented at what he does. Fun to see my Dad's talent put into and area of the home my Mom spends so much time fulfilling one of her many talents!

So there it is, my Christmas is a semi nut shell.  Praying flights cooperate so that I am able to get down to Charlotte tomorrow to travel back to school tomorrow.  My last semester is here and I am ready for the learning experience I know student teaching will be.