Two Thumbs UP for UP!

Today I went with two of my semi-adopted kids to see the new Pixar Film UP. I went into it knowing NOTHING about the movie, except that it was a Pixar Film, which are ALWAYS my favorite movies...this one did not let me down either. It was actually a really deep film, with plenty of humor for the little people to enjoy. I don't go to the movies much anymore because it's so expensive, I typically wait for a movie to come out on DVD where I can rent it for $1 on Redbox. With that being said, I HIGHLY recommend you see this film in theatres. It's worth splurging $7.25 (Adult, here in Nowheresville) for the ticket to experience this movie.

Run, don't walk, to your nearest theatres...

I would tell ya what God showed me through this movie, but then I would ruin it for ya!

Life.
Is.
Good.

Tired

I spent about 5 hours up at school getting stuff cleaned out and boxed up. I still have some work to do, but am almost done with the whole packing part of the moving experience. By the end of Tuesday I should be checked out and finished with work here. Gosh, 10 years here...wow...incredible stuff.

For now, I head my bed calling my name...

Life.
Is.
Good.

Seriously?

Today was a good day, full of some interesting stories that I could share, but I'm only going to share one of them. We had our end-of-the-year field trip to Springfield where we visited The Discovery Center and Incredible Pizza. I've been on this trip almost every year for the past ten years. It is always a highlight for me. :-) And, honestly, today was a lot of fun. It just had a glitch....

After the Discovery Center, we pulled up to Incredible Pizza, and right before we got off the bus the driver turned to one of our teachers and said, "What time to you want to leave?" And the teacher said, "No later than 1:10. We have to be back by 2:15." The bus driver said okay, and we went inside.

At about 12:50, the teachers were walking around giving the ten minute warning.

At 12:55, we got a 5 minute warning.

I was with one of our Autistic kids, so I was still playing with him, not doing the warnings with the teachers.

So at 1:00, we headed up front to board the buses. I saw the teachers at the entrance, and they told me that they wanted me to stay on guard and make sure the kids didn't get more food or drinks to take on the bus. I was the bad guy as the kids were rounded up.

Once it was clear all the kids were gone, I started walking to the buses. As I exited the pizza place, I saw all of our students (100 kids total) out with the teachers just standing around. I walked up and one of the teachers said, "We're waiting on the bus drivers. They're in line waiting to cash in their tickets for their toys before they leave."

What?

Seriously?

Sure enough, we waited until 1:30 for the bus drivers to walk up with their toys to the buses. We boarded the buses and were on our way. It was 1:35-ish when we left. It put us back at school at 2:52. :-) Our bus riders leave at 2:50 and the Autistic kid I was sitting at missed his Special Ed. bus at 2:40.

All because two bus drivers wanted their toys.

Talk about selfishness.

Sounds like two candidates for Idiotsville to me...

I'm gonna crash now..

Life.
Is.
Good.

Field Day and Speeches and Friends

Today was a really fun day, we had "Field Day" at our school. During the afternoon we had inflatable games and activities, tricycles for the big kids to race, a dunk tank for Mr. C. and Mr. H. to be get wet in, a station for singers and dancers, and of course the usual playground equipment. It was the first Field Day that we've had like that since I've been at my school. It was colder than I would've liked, but since it had been postponed since they thought it was going to rain on Tuesday. (Which it didn't, I might add.) It was a lot of fun, and I took MANY pics. I actually participated in the Cha-Cha Slide Dancing and raced three of my students in the tricycle race. I lost, but it was FUN. It was a really fun afternoon.

After that we had our end-of-the-year Faculty Meeting where the people that are leaving are recognized. You guessed it, I was one of five who was called up to the front. What I didn't expect was that I was going to give a speech. I felt I did really well, and only at the end did I tear up. Once I teared up I said, "...So, thank you." Gigglygal patted me on the shoulder, and it was one of those "never forget" sort of moments. It was a good thing. I'm ready to move forward...I just have to get my stuff turned in before that happens...

Tonight I had WorshipGal and her three kids over, and we laughed A LOT! It was a great time. Honestly, I think leaving GigglyGal and her family is going to be one of the hardest parts of leaving here. God has REALLY connected our hearts on so many levels. But, the cool news is that she AND HER FAMILY LOVE IHOP-KC! :-) So, I know the friendship won't be ending by any stretch of the imagination! God is cool lke that!

I need to get to bed. Field trip tomorrow.

Life.
Is.
Good.

A Weight Lifted....

Today I did it...I told Jay and his Mother that I'm moving. I had been praying over this significantly because Jay is Autistic and have tutored him for 5 years in Reading...just last week he said (once again) that he wanted me to tutor him until grade 16. So, today when his Mother was actually up and moving, I told them together. Jay hugged me several times, and was near tears but I noticed he held it in. I was proud of him. And, I felt like a weight was lifted. He was the last one I had to tell that I am leaving. Whew... The neat part is that he'll be at Camp Barnabas in July while I'm there. :-) That will be COOL!

As for my students, today felt weird as they were all bringing in little notes and letters. My favorite one was a book that D.D. made for me. I plan on making into a real book tomorrow.

Tomorrow is my last faculty meeting in my building.

I plan on taking tissues.

Life.
Is.
Good.

No More Secrets...

I was sitting in class today juggling end-of-the-year testing and behavior management when my second Mom came in with my birthday gift from her. She gave me a SWEET CARD and a Large bag of M&M's, followed by a "Happy Birthday" Song. :-) It was SOOOOOOOOOOOO CUTE! After they left, I gave out M&M's to the kids, and we shared in the fun!

A little while later, D.D. turned to me and said, "Are you going to be here next year?" and my heart stopped. I had told God first thing this morning that if He wanted me to tell, He needed to open the door. So when D.D. asked, I knew it was God.

I took a deep breath and told the group. D.D. teared up and cried, and I held him, but he did MUCH better than I expected. I was pleased. I thought we were good.

Then Pixarkid walked in and his aide looked at me and I told him I had told the kids. So, I proceeded to tell Pixarkid (who is autistic) the whole story again, and he looked at me and the bag of M&M's when I was done and said, "I like M&M's, can I have some?"

Well, so much for worrying about the tears, the kids are going to be FINE!

:-)
Life.
Is.
Good.

I mean...SERIOUSLY!

I spent the day with SingingGal and her two girls, and had a GREAT time. We went up to my school and continued the "What Can I Live Without" Campaign. I am happy with all the progess we made and the conversation that we shared. Even the girls did a lot of work, which was GREAT.

After the classroom, we went and shared pizza before going back to the storage shed to deliver my boxes for storage and went back to their house. I got to play with Rocco before leaving. It was A BLAST!

What was the most fun was when SingingGal pointed out how much I say, "Seriously." I didn't realize it..it's just something I say. It was fun because after that, everytime I said, "Seriously" we just laughed! It was REALLY fun! Now everytime I say it, I'll think of her.

Laughter is a lot of fun, and I thank God for SingingGal and her family. I am a blessed gal.

I need to go to bed...SERIOUSLY! :-)

Life.
Is.
Good.

What Can I Live Without?

Years ago I was talking to my Dad and he made a comment that has always stuck with me. He said, "You know, Shortone, cleaning out closets, rooms, whatever, is actually very therapeutic." At the time I am sure I smiled and didn't reply with much. However, that has always stuck with me.

Today I went and started the massive "What can I live without" campaign in my classroom. And, in that, I took two shopping carts full of recycled paper to the recycle bin just outside my school. I am in somewhat of an interesting position because I am entering a brand-new building and when we toured last week there wasn't even furniture in it, so I have NO IDEA what I will need for next year.

So, on some items I am going the Ms. H. route and just taking one copy of things. And on the stuff I REALLY need, I am taking all I have of it. Of course, all district property is staying put. It is amazing how much I've spent on my classroom over the past ten years, as I have a shopping cart full in my classroom now that will go to the storage shed for a month until I move to KC. (And, let me tell ya, I can't wait to be moved into a place to stay for more than 4 months!)

My theme today has been, "What can I live without?"

In my last place of residence, my housemates couldn't get rid of stuff so I didn't see the top of my kitchen table for over a year because all their "stuff" lived on any tabletop surface available.

I don't want to be like that, even in my classroom. As I cleaned out stuff today, I kept thinking, "Why did I keep this? My life will easily go on without that!" Hence, my two shopping carts full of stuff that was recycled.

And I am finding that the more I throw out, the better I feel. I'm in such a place where I want to move forward and not look back that even in just getting rid of things is helping me gain some perspective...it's almost as if a burden is being lifted. And, honestly it has helped that it's been just me in the building as I do it. I have listened to KOBC and sang as I've done it, which has also been therapeutic.

And it has made me think about "What can I live without" in life?

I find my mind wandering a lot to what I exited from...and everything that was involved in that. I have emotions and feelings that only God knows the depth of.

And in that, I can live without dwelling upon that chapter of my life. Honestly that's easier said than done, but it's still my goal. I can do without the thoughts of the negativity and darkness and fear that I was in that I pray NOONE will ever understand in their lifetime.

Moving forward...yeah...I like the sound of that...

Life.
Is.
Good.

Once again...

I tell ya what, once again I was reminded of how blessed I am. Tonight I went to Amie's place for a girl's night, and was reminded how blessed I am in the area of friendships. I went over with the idea that we were going to do dinner and a movie. What a silly thought...three girls, and I really thought we were going to watch a movie. What was I thinking? Hahahaha!

We wound up sitting and chatting about life, love, and everything in-between. Amie has started dating someone, and the guy is proving to be what she has prayed for all these years. I tell ya what, I am PUMPED FOR HER, and am once again reminded that the wait is worth it. She and I have been the "not-gonna-settle" sisters, and it's fun to see her excitement and smile as she knows all the years of waiting were worth it. She and her boyfriend are inspiring me tremendously. :-)

The other high point of the night was just sharing our hearts with one another. We had some deep moments, and then some moments of just laughter. I tell ya what, it was priceless in my book. Every single second was priceless. :-)

And finally, we concluded with praying for each other. I love it when I get to together with friends and then we pray about everything we discussed together. That is my FAVORITE part of being friends with Amie and K. It was really, really special.

What else can I say?

Oh yea...

Life.
Is.
Good.

On my Birthday I received...

Today was my Birthday, and I was once again reminded how loved I am here. I started the day with a birthday text from Ms. Amie, which was nice. Followed by MANY emails wishing me a great b-day. Two of my students gave me large bags of Plain M&M's, which is what I asked for from them! Total, I now have 5 bags of M&M's on my table! Ha! Time to package them so the bugs don't find them! :-)

We had my party at 1:00, where we had pizza delivered and pepsi was the drink of choice. (My choice, I'm the birthday girl!) It was a blast. The kids really made me laugh, which was wonderful. 4.5 school days left here...wowzers!

I also received other small gifts throughout the day, but honestly the highlight was tonight when I reached Worshipleader's family's house. I am puppy sitting for them this weekend and I had twelve white roses, a bag of M&M's, an AWESOME card, and a framed picture of their family waiting for me. It was PERFECT!

I ended the day with a call from Scienceguy. Which was exactly how I wanted it to end.

Now, it's time to do my favorite hobby...SLEEP!

Life.
Is.
Good.

'nite

It's official...

I received my contract today...it's official...I AM EMPLOYED IN THE KC AREA FOR THE NEXT SCHOOL YEAR!

Life.
Is.
GOOD.

Ankles, Resignations, and Classrooms

I know, I know, I didn't blog last night, and so you're all wondering, "What is up with Shortone?" Afterall, I did blog that I was headed to my school yesterday. Er...well...my new school. Well, here are my recent updates! :-)

First off, my ankle. Some have asked how it is doing, and I caved in today and went to the doctor and had it looked at. And, just like any trip to the doctor, he said what I already knew. "You have an ankle sprain." He looked at it, wrapped up my ankle, and sent me for crutches. Well, of course I can't balance on crutches...so I am to stay off of it as much as possible. Okay, well, that is a loose term to me. Afterall, I'm about to move a classroom and my home up north. Ah well, Shortone's Mom can rest easy now that she has seen the doc. He said in 7-10 days I should be better. Which is a good thing.

Today I handed in my Letter of Resignation at my current school. I haven't received my contract yet from my new district, but considering I toured the school yesterday, I am secure in the fact I have a job. It was the first job I've ever had where I turned in a letter like that. Weird stuff.

Okay, you've all been waiting...the classroom...it does not have windows, BUT I get a full classroom. I know, you're thinking, "How is that a good thing?" Well, right now I'm in a conference room for a classroom. Next year I will have a FULL classroom that will be able to seat 24 children! This is a blessing I never, ever, ever expected! Yea!

The building was nice, as it is obviously brand-new. I loved it!

Well, I need to crash. I still have a job here to finish and leave on a positive note!

'Nite!

New Adventures...New Thoughts...New Prayers...

So I sit here tonight deep in thought. I have spent the past three evenings listening and watching to a series preached by Louie Giglio online. Yes, I know, all the non-spiritual folks are going to click the "back" button now and tune-in tomorrow. And, you know what? That is a-ok by me. Part of this blog is to help those reaching for God to have a new outlook on their walk with God. I pray daily that I help others draw nearer to God without me even knowing it. That's the point of life this side of Heaven, I believe.

So tonight I have pondered my life. I am headed tomorrow to see my new school that is still under construction, and meet the staff I will be working with to serve this next generation of God's Children. After that, I'm headed to look at one of many available rental properties in the area. Part of me feels like all this is going too fast, and part of it isn't going fast enough.

You're wondering...how can that possibly be?

On one hand, I want a puppy so badly that I can hardly sit still. After a season with the hardest housemates I can imagine, a puppy would be a JOY to come home to and take care of. I have been praying for several years for the pup God has for me. Yes, my friends, I have prayed over a dog. I know, go ahead and laugh...then when I blog on here about what all I've prayed for and God has given me in the pup, you'll think twice! :-)

On the other hand, leaving my friends here isn't going to be easy. All day today I've heard people saying how they don't want me to leave. And while I am glad I am genuinely liked so well, I am ready to be gone and not think "I won't be doing this next year." It's a mixed bag...

I have listened to some VERY good, encouraging messages online, and the phrase I keep hearing is "Life Story." You've heard me say on here about this new "Chapter" in my life...and this move is part of another chapter in my life. When I moved in here, my Spiritual Mom said this place was a new "Chapter". Well, this Chapter has been a step for the next one. Leaving here isn't the end...it's the beginning. The beginning of the next Chapter of what God has for me, this side of Heaven.

I've been blessed too, because spiritually I have been starved for some new thoughts and insights to God, and I have received that these past few days online. God is so faithful to give us what we need, and when we need it...even when we're not sure of what it is we're needing.

So, to those of you that I'm leaving, please don't be sad. Afterall, with Facebook, you're never really rid of me! You can't get rid of me that easily...

And for those of you I'm moving toward, I'm excited about what God has for us.

Blessings to all!

Life.
Is.
Good.

The Church Has Left the Building!

Today I got up and went to church for the first of three workdays that our church is doing in our community. The original date was for the first Sunday this month, and it rained so today was our rain date. I tell ya, it was fun!

We started the day at church with breakfast and worship in music. It was a first for me, well, I mean, a first for me to wear slippers on stage while I played Congas. Of course, no one noticed, which was nice. My slippers look a bit like shoes, so no one said a word. And, I should add that it was FUN to play today. I can't even really say why, it was just fun.

After that, I paired up with Worshipleader Dude and his family and we headed out to work in the community. We were told we would be picking up trash in a yard. We were happy to hear that, as that is typically an easy thing to do.

When we pulled up to the house, I realized what a large task we had ahead of us. It was a LARGE yard that clearly hadn't been cared for at all. The grass was quite tall and thick, and there were tree limbs all over. For about 2 hours we cleared away the limbs while a couple others mowed. There were trailers full of limbs taken to the nearby dump, which was open just for us today.

We were glad it was a beautiful day. It wasn't too warm or too cool. :-) Perfect.

We took a break for lunch at a park where our lunch was provided by the church. They had sack lunches for us. Of course, I had packed my own, but it was still fun to go and hang out with everyone.

After lunch we headed out to another piece of land where there was a LARGE pile of limbs to be taken to the dump. We simply loaded the limbs onto the trailers. We would get one full of limbs, and then it would leave, and another one would come. It was quite a task, but also a lot of fun.

We have another workday June 7th. I don't know if I'll be here for it, or if I will be living up North by then. What I do know is that I was glad I was a part of it, and if I am here, I look forward to doing it again.

Now I am wiped and will do some homework and crash early.

The good news is that my ankle isn't purple anymore and the swelling is going down.

Life.
Is.
Good.

Hope is Rising

I find it amazing how music can touch the soul...or how it can touch mine. I listen to a Christian Radio Station here, and honestly I only listen to Christian stuff. It's not that I'm anti-secular stuff, I know there is some good secular stuff out there. I have just found that in my race WITH God, I draw closer to Him in music.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I just exited from an unhealthy situation a couple months back. It's something I'm honestly still processing with God, as the last 2 years of that situation were less than good, to say the least. So, when I moved into my apartment, God started giving me songs to meditate on and pray over my life, and I find myself returning to an old version of myself. Not the same, obviously, I believe that God teaches us stuff even when we're walking through things. I know I learned A LOT that I wouldn't have learned otherwise without walking through those 2 years. So, in coming up out of the bad, and returning to a healthy level of love, laughter, and love, the song, "Hope is Rising" by Down Here has gripped me. It is where I feel I am at right now.

I don't typically type out lyrics on here, I think I've only done that twice. However, it represents a picture of my heart, from where I was to how I feel today. I hope it blesses you. By the way, it doesn't mention God once, but it does talk about the grave. :-) I really believe it was from God for His children. I know this Shortone has been blessed by it...

Hope is Rising by Down Here

I've lost all my Earthly optimism
That it's all gonna be alright
That the good will win this fight
Somewhere between youth and disappointments
The dream became despair, the love became a lie

Just now, I've reached the end of my line
Just now, I'm too tired to keep on trying

Hope is rising, it's the sunrise for the end
Hoep is rising, and it's breathing for me again
Hope is rising
Hope is rising...again

Soon beneath the roses I will lie
All the memories of my days, gathered to the sky
Soon every work will find its worth
And all my strength returned, to the water and the Earth

Just when I reach the end of my life
Just when my eyes dim out the last light

Hope is rising, it's a sunrise for the end
Hope is rising, and it's breathing for me again
Hope is rising
Hope is rising...again

From the sorrow, from the fear
From the loss and from the tears
From the darkness from the pain
From the fall and from the grave

Hope is rising, it's a sunrise for the end
Hope is rising, and it's breathing for me again
Hope is rising
Hope is rising...again

Life.
Is.
Good.

Programs, Ankles, Parks, and Friends...

I have a few tidbits...highlights...ramblings to share tonight...

First off, yesterday was our fifth grade end-of-the-year program, and it was AWESOME. I helped tape last night's performance, and it was GREAT. I tell ya what, it is always a highlight for me, and this year they did "Cecil Floyd Rocks the 80's". It was complete with Mr. C. and Mr. H. doing pre-show entertainment. I tell ya, it was a GREAT show.

Okay, now for the embarrassing part of the blog. Yesterday after tutoring I was walking down the steps outside the house I tutor at, lost my footing, and became one-with-the-ground. While I have spent a great deal of time falling in my life, this fall was significantly different. I twisted my ankle in the process, and now have an ENORMOUS bruise where my ankle resides. I went to our school nurse who looked at it and said, "You sprained it." I'm to stay off of it tomorrow as much as possible. Yeah, well, considering I need to pack I'm not entirely sure how well that will work, but I am going to try...

Needless to say, I ignored the nurse's advice and spent the day at Carousel Park with our third, fourth, and fifth graders. We rode many rides and laughed a lot. There was even a small roller coaster that I got to ride! That was fun for all! I knew I wouldn't get to go on that Field Trip again, so I went. :-) It was REALLY fun.

Finally, tonight I had a friend and her two boys over for dinner and we watched "Cars." I tell ya, I am blessed in the arena of friendships. Kim and her two boys both made us laugh a lot. It was really cool.

So, I am going to crash for tonight.

As always...

Life.
Is.
Good.

Blessings from Above!

Now that I have received the official call, and the contract is in the mail, I will share details.

Yesterday I was offered a teaching job up north by IHOP-KC. Not only was I offered the job, but they are taking ALL my years of experience (which affects the payscale) and insurance will be able to cover my pre-existing conditions! YIPPEE! Both the years of experience and insurance were things I have prayed over since I started job searching. :-) God is so cool!

I will be teaching Special Education in a BRAND NEW Elementary School, and the school hours are 9-4! :-)

I was also blessed when the gentleman who hired me said, "You were one of 54 people who applied for the job. We narrowed it down to 4 applicants, and you were the top pick out of the four applicants."

That brought a big smile to my face.

Life.
Is.
Good.

Answered Prayers!

So, it seems as if I had MANY prayers answered today. I am going to wait to share them until I have some official things taken care of, but suffice to say, I sit here and think, "I knew it! I knew God would answer my prayers!"

There are a lot of preliminaries to be taken care of, and things should be official by the end of the week...

God is AWESOME!

Once again..

Life.
Is.
Good.

:-)

First Sunburn of the Year!

Today our district hosted an Ice Cream Social for our students and staff because we were a Top Ten School. In my ten years of teaching in this district, my school has never made the Top Ten List. So, our Ice Cream Social was a first for us. We had the students get their ice cream, eat it, and then they basically got an extra recess.

I sat and watched a few of our Special Needs kids play ball together, which was a hoot! There were two boys and one girl, who all barely talk, and yet they could play ball better than our regular education kids. Go figure...

After the three kids went inside I looked around, wondering what I should do next. I could go over and talk to the teachers, as they were all yacking together, and I looked over and saw one of my kids trying to get a four-square game going. I sat and thought, "Gosh, I can't remember the last game I played." I went over and proceeded to play for the next hour or so. (Gotta love extra recesses, especially when it's supposed to rain the rest of this week!) It wasn't the best game I had ever played. Afterall, I was playing with a bunch of kids who didn't play right, and although one boy and I kept things going, it was not the BEST game I've ever played.

I will say this though, it was fun to be playing again. I don't know why I stepped back from that because I used to play all the time, but I will say, it was fun to be a kid again...at least on a small level.

So I now look a tad bit like Rudolph, with a small sunburn on my nose. Not huge, just big enough to notice. :-) Which is cool.

Life.
Is.
Good.

Back at Home...

So here I sit, back at home, and wonder where the weekend went. It seems as if I just got to my parents, and here I am sitting here getting ready to crash. I'm glad though, as weekends can seem forever for this short little single gal. So this weekend was nice.

I spent some time in the Prayer Room this afternoon after spending time with the fam, and had a GREAT time. As I left, I thought, "Hopefully it won't be long before I can be here more often."

Also, when I left the parent's house today I thought, "It won't be long before I have a dog of my own."

Gosh, exciting stuff!

Of course, little minor detail of getting a job...and a place that will allow pets.

God's got that under control though.

I just know it!!!

Life.
Is.
Good.

Rudy's Ramblings!

Yo!

What is up, Blogland? Rudy here to give you the latest scoop from the Parental Unit's House!

Shortone came in last night when I should have been in bed. No wonder we didn't get in the boxes yet, as the Parental Unit knew Shortone was coming! We did our usual Welcome Home Routine, and she dropped her stuff and got on the floor and played with us before she even had all of her stuff inside! I can tell she likes us because she is just as hyper as we are when she enters the door!

Today Roxie woke her up by sniffing at her door and barking. I stayed outside her door this morning for quite awhile too, but I didn't wake her. Mom said to her last night, "Be sure to sleep in." Something tells me she enjoys her sleep, so I wasn't going to wake her! She came out, and we played for quite a while. She always spoils us in the morning as the Parental Unit is always busy in the mornings.

After wrestling a while, we cuddled and watched "Flashpoint." She is really fun to cuddle with and we had a great time!

Later on this afternoon we went on a walk with Roxie and Dad. It was a lot of fun and Dad kept talking to Shortone about Lee's Summit, whatever that may be. He told her "I am so excited for you, I could just about jump out of my skin." Shortone smiled at that. Shortone also said something about coming to visit ME more often if she gets to move like she wants to do. I would like that!

Tonight Shortone and I went on our own little roadtrip. She was going to rent a movie for her and Mom, and invited me to ride along! We had the radio on and Shortone was singing. She seems happier now than she's been in a while, which is fun to watch.

We cuddled tonight during the movie and I REALLY liked that. I guess she heads home tomorrow, but I hope she's back again soon! She spoils me, as Mom says, and I LOVE having her here!

So, I guess I will logoff for now. I want to Thank all of you humans for encouraging Shortone during the past couple months. I can tell that your words and prayers are helping her IMMENSELY. She's happier now than she's been in quite a while.

As Shortone keeps saying...

Life.
Is.
Good.
'Nite!

K-Love

I've been driving up to my parent's house for 10 years (2.5 hour drive each way) and had never found the Christian Radio Station for KC. I had tried before but had given up, as I couldn't find it. Well, back in March I found it, and LOVE IT! Plus, it's REALLY COOL because just as the Christian Station in my area starts fading out, K-Love is in range and I just switch from one to the other. And, while this is a little thing, it is really cool in my book as I am looking at being in the K-Love area permanently this Summer. What can I say?

Life.
Is.
Good.

'nuf said!

Nite!

Dear Mom, Dad, and Scienceguy!

I was in a meeting today and I have had a few thoughts running around in my head since then that I want to share. While this letter could be sent to MANY others, I am focusing on my immediate family from childhood.

Dear Mom, Dad, and Scienceguy,

Thanks for NOT making me see myself as disabled. You have helped shape me into a person who has ABILITIES and not a disability. The limp was NEVER an excuse...CP was never an excuse. While Cerebral Palsy is one small part of me, that's all it is, a small part. The bigger part of me is an independent, healthy, loving gal that you loved unconditionally. Within that, I believed I could be anything, and anyone I wanted to be. And today I am a teacher who teaches her Special Education Students that they can be anything, and anyone they want to be.

Thanks so much. It took me to adulthood to really see what you taught me. I realize there are not any perfect brothers or parents, but I am blessed because I had you as my family.

Love,
Shortone

Running the Race

It talks in Scripture about Running the Race marked before us, with God. I have been pondering that for months now. I mean, seriously, in the physical, I run about as slow as a turtle compared to even my fourth grade students. I would lose even to a toddler, if I was going to be really real about it.

However, in the Spiritual Realm, I feel as if I'm running a whole new race...with the past behind me (trying my HARDEST not to look backward) and the new road, chapter, whatever, ahead of me. And in that I have pondered, "How do I want to run this race?" And honestly, I have even worn jogging suits A LOT lately, as a reminder that I'm running the race WITH GOD, not alone. I know, for some of you, you're thinking, "Wow, that's a bit extreme." But for me, it is drawing me closer to God in ways you will never understand. And I'm okay with you thinking that's extreme, it's between me and God anyway. :-)

So I have been pondering, how do I want to run this thing out? I'm embarking on adventures unknown. Most likely this is my last month teaching in the school I've been in for ten years, and I'm about 7 weeks away from no longer even living in this town. This is all I've known for the bulk of my adult life.

So now I feel as if I'm about to start at another "starting line" and begin new things and I have NO IDEA where that is to take place, or what that is supposed to look like. Nor do I have any idea what leaving my friends here looks like either. Praise God for Facebook, where I will have a lifetime of relationship with them no matter where I am geographically. If I could get Mr. H. on there, then honestly the family would be complete. :-) (No pressure there, Mr. H.) Ha!

So, tonight I was sitting at homegroup, and others were praying over each other, and I sat there and thought, "I have nothing to pray out." I was wrong though, as one of our members needed prayer, and the leader said, "Who wants to pray?" And I did! I sat and prayed for that person in a way that I've always wanted to pray...honestly, it was like when I was at OneThing. It was intense, and real, and with God in it. Afterward, I opened my eyes and waited, and then the person said, "Wow, that was quite a prayer." And, another gal said, "That is why Shortone is one of my favorite people."

And it was then that I knew how I wanted to run this race out with God. I want to run this race in such a way that others see God in me, NOT me. I want others to remember me as someone who walked this thing out in such a way that it brought them closer to God. I want them to remember me as someone who prayed when times were tough, or when I knew it was simply time to pray.

I was reminded on my drive home of two people today at work who commented to me that when it was raining on Friday, as I had prayed all week that it would so I could still go on the field trip on a later date and still go to my job interview, that I must have a special place with God because He answered my prayers! It was in that moment that I was reminded that others are watching, and my goal is to have them see Him, not me.

So, regardless of where I am geographically, I think I'll still be wearing the jogging suits for a while. And I will be praying for others to see Him, not me.

I will end with this: Only on this Earth can we offer up to Him a life acceptable to Him. Once we're in Heaven, there is no sacrifice of Praise...there is no hurt...there is no pain. So only on this Earth can I glorify Him.

And I intend to do that every step of every day...one step at a time in this race WITH Him...

Life.
Is.
Good.

Where Do I Want to Land?

I left my place at 11-ish this morning and headed to Lee's Summit for a job interview. After an hour in the interview, I was left wondering what I really want...where do I really want to land? I went into the interview wanting to land there, as it's 20 minutes to IHOP-KC, there is a church there that I want to dive into, and I would love to be a part of a staff that opens a brand-new elementary school. All of that sounds great. And, of course, I was not offered the job today, so it's not like I have a big decision to make just yet. However, after the interview, I was left wondering what I really want...

I should state that I interviewed with North KC last week, and after today I REALLY like a lot of what they do. North KC does several things that we do in the district I'm in right now, so it would be an easy transition. On the flip side, Lee's Summit does things the "old school" way, so I already know how to do the job there too.

I'll spare you the details, as it's 10, and I need to get ready to crash and teach tomorrow.

In the end, I have no idea where I want to land now. Hum... In the end, I guess it doesn't matter, as God will put me where He wants me to land. I simply need to be patient to hear God's voice and follow His lead....

Life.
Is.
Good.

Wondering...

Tonight I have sat on the couch and pondered some things. Some of them include:

1. Why is it that May means that kids don't give a rip if they have missing homework or not? Today my students didn't seem to care if they had missing work or not...

2. Why do I enjoy the show House? It's a good show, but I enjoy it way too much.

3. I have an interview tomorrow...will I get the job? Does God want me in Lee's Summit? I know what I want...I just wonder what God wants.

4. For the first time in 10 years I won't be teaching Summer School this year, and honestly the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of a break during the month of June. Only problem is, how am I going to pad the savings account AND move this Summer? Hum...

5. I am REALLY enjoying my DVR...how did I ever live without the "rewind" button on live TV? :-)

6. I really enjoy sleeping..how is that that time flies by so fast? :-)

7. I heard an update on Lostboy last week. I guess he is kicked out of school for an entire school year for threatening a teacher after just returning from a ten day suspension for bringing a knife to school. It breaks my heart to hear that....

8. Hebrews 11:1 states that Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. I am hoping and praying for a lot of things...without seeing much of it anywhere in my line of vision anytime soon...I guess that's where the whole faith thing comes into play... :-)

9. I am stopping at IHOP-KC on the way back from the interview tomorrow. I know, you're SHOCKED! :-)

10. I had a good friend from church call tonight for now reason other than to say "Hi." That blessed me immensely!

11. I can't cook much of anything, but I make a pretty good homemade pizza! :-)

That's about it for tonight. I should get my beauty rest so I can be ready for the interview tomorrow. At least I can sleep past 6am!

Life.
Is.
Good.

IEP PARTY TIME!

Today has been relatively low key, which has been nice. I got up and went to church, and was honestly glad that our "workday" was postponed, as it is colder here than it has been and I'm a wimp in cold weather! I look forward to the Workday on May 17th! It should be warmer then!

I have spent the bulk of the day doing paperwork. I graded papers last night, and did IEP's (Sp. Ed. Paperwork) all afternoon and early tonight. I now have a headache and am going to watch Cold Case and In Plain Sight and crash.

I am excited about what this next week holds for me. I have an interview Tuesday with a district I would REALLY like to work in. So, if you would say a little prayer for me, that would be GREATLY appreciated.

For now, the couch is calling my name.

Life.
Is.
Good.

Friday's Tidbits on Saturday

I got in from KC at 1:00-ish this morning, and had a GREAT time while I was up there. Leesh and Laura went with me, and we had a GREAT day. We started the day at IHOP-KC, which is my favorite place on the planet, and LOVED it. Leesh had never been there for a visit, so it was almost more fun having her experience it than my own experience. What can I say? When you enjoy something you want to share it with those around you. We took a lunch break, and headed back into the Prayer Room.

Misty Edwards led worship for an hour and I REALLY enjoyed her set. God really spoke to me a lot during that set, which was exactly what I needed.

After Misty's set I left the Prayer Room, changed into my interview clothes, and headed to North Kansas City for an interview. I only called Dad once for help on directions getting there, which was good. :-) I will spare the details of the interview line-by-line, but at the end, I was told, "Would you be interested in a position here?" I said "Yes, if you are interested in offering me a position." :-) He said yes, the only kicker is that they don't have a Resource Position right now, only Self Contained Classrooms were available right now. He followed by saying that he would be very surprised if they don't have a Resource Education opening by the end of May though. So, I interpretted all that to mean, "I can't offer you a contract today, or even the job you are wanting, but we would give you a job today if we could." This is the closest I've been to a contract, so that is encouraging. Honestly, I have an interview with Lee's Summit on Tuesday, and am excited about that. In the beginning of all this Job Searching stuff, my Dad said I would have a pick of where to I wanted to go by the end of it all. I believe that now.

I went back to the Prayer Room after the interview where I met up with Leesh and Laura and we basically stayed in the Prayer Room all evening, with the exception of taking a break from dinner. It was all GREAT. It honestly made me want to be in KC today. :-)

Life.
Is.
Good.