Time Out!

Today I was in class, within the span of about an hour I had taken two separate kids to the "Time Out" Room. I hate that, but it is effective with the kids who are used to the "Time Out" system. The first gal was simply disobeying me and after one warning I sent her in for 10 minutes. It was VERY effective. She came back in and got right to work without complaint.

Arguekid was another story. He was absent yesterday and had a ROUGH morning in the Regular Education Class. I told the teacher I would take him in the afternoon. I am used to that, as kids often lose priveleges in the classroom setting and need a place to "work." Arguekid came in mad because he figured out he was missing the afternoon movie because of his morning. He came and yelling at me, and I put my hand up and said, "Hush. Your teacher already told me the story. Here's your work." I was calm...I was pleasant, and turned to work with the other students. At first he was quiet. Then he got angry and was yelling at me saying I didn't believe him and that I could ask another student in his class that he was trying to do the work, and the teacher was lying. I ignored him. He was sitting, and out of my line of vision, which made him even more upset. He kept talking....talking...talking...it's amazing how the other kids ignored him as well. It's good to know that I was able to train them to do that this Summer. In the beginning it never would have worked! He quit for quite a while and just sat there. He didn't even work. It was an easy hidden picture page, it's not like it was something hard like addition, subtraction, reading, or writing. So finally he started yelling again, and I ignored and felt that I was going to explode if something didn't happen...

So I looked at him and said, "Come on." He said, "Where are we going?" I said, "The Time Out Room."

He sat there.

I started walking and he followed.

He went in and sat down. I looked at the faculty in the room and said, "I need a 10 minute time out."

They all chuckled.

After going back to my room for ten minutes, I returned, and he started yelling at me. So, I shut the door and left him in the time out room. I said, "I will return." He was still yelling as I left. In the end, his parents came to get him early for some reason, so he got out of the time-out room and I was able to walk him up and explain to his Dad what had happened. He cried so hard as I was talking that the principal came out and took him away so we could talk. Dad backed me up, and was fine with what I had done.

As I was walking back to my room, I thought about ArgueKid. I have argued a lot with God in recent months. And honestly, it wouldn't have bothered me so much that the kid was yelling at me if I didn't have some stuff to still pray through in my own life. The kid was frustrated. The kid wanted his own way.

I'm not much different from ArgueKid. None of us are, I think. We all want things our way, on our own terms.

God doesn't work that way.

Thank God!

Life.
Is.
Good.

Tilt

I have made it a hobby of mine over the years to take kids on outings that they may not get to do all the time. While this isn't more than once a month, I find life in spending time with kids and seeing life from their perspective.

So one of the favorite picks is "Tilt." Tilt is the local arcade that charges outrageous prices for video games. I limit each child to $5, and depending upon the child's interests, the outing can last anywhere from 10 minutes or less to over an hour. Each time I go I am in awe of how different God wired all of us. They have the same games every time I go, but each kid gravitates to different ones.

I usually go with Jay, the student I have tutored for years. Jay is autistic and his motivation to get a book done with me (75 lessons!) is an outing to Tilt with me. Jay is very good at the shoot-em-up video games, and so an outing with him to Tilt is a minimum hour. He is good at the games, and will typically beat the game he's on in an hour and still have tokens left over. Then we blow what's left on ticket games so he can take home prizes that would cost at least half that price at your local Wal-Mart. I'm headed to Tilt with him tomorrow, as it's my last full day here and I wanted to spend my last afternoon with him. It only seemed right that way. :-)

Today, I went with D.D. He is also autistic and we had initially planned on doing the indoor golf at the mall and he changed his mind. I didn't care what we did. My ankle was better today than it's been in a while so I was up for golf, but he asked if we could do Tilt instead. I learned a lot from him tonight.

He got his tokens and walked over to one of the "claw" games. Now, for those of you who haven't stepped foot in an arcade in the last decade, we now have TONS of games where you can put a coin in, move a "claw" around and drop it in this bin where you hope you get a toy caught in the claw. They have stuffed animals, bouncy balls, and even electronic games on the more expensive ones. I will admit, I have always steered clear of the "claw." This has been for two reasons: first off, they are filled with toys that I don't need so why waste my time on it? And secondly, you lose more than you win, so it's a waste of time. It's like betting on strip in Vegas in my book. I wanted to tell D.D. both these things as he immediately put 8 tokens into a claw game! He only had 24 total, so I wanted to discourage him from "wasting" them. I was glad I didn't though. He was okay with losing, and honestly, he would walk over to another claw and say "That one looks easy," and try again. He didn't quit, and he did manage to win 3 stuffed animals in the span of his 15 minutes with tokens. He just enjoyed playing, and wouldn't quit. He would try and try and try again. He didn't once think, "This is a rip-off." He just kept trying and kept saying, "This looks easy."

How much can we learn from D.D.? I know I was standing there going, "Man, I need faith like that kid." He wasn't discouraged at all, and was determined not to give up. He just kept playing. Once he was out of tokens he turned to me and said, "That was fun, thanks Ms. S."

Gosh, don't we all need a bit of faith like that?...Seriously...

Life.
Is.
Good.

See ya later!

Today was my last regular day at church, and it was very special to me. It was a day I'll never forget. Let me share some highlights:

1. I got to play congas, and had a blast doing it. It meant a lot to me to hear our worship leader tell me that if I ever come back to visit, I can ALWAYS play, which made me smile. I'm not GREAT at it, but I have fun with it, so that was pretty cool.

2. They prayed over me in pre-service prayer and in those moments of prayer I learned how much God has used me to impact their lives, without even knowing it. Which also brought a smile to my face.

3. I got to teach Sunday School after worship, and the kids gave me a sign that said they will miss me and they traced their hands and wrote their names in the hands. I want to frame it and put it somewhere in my new place. It was really sweet. I also got to give one last lesson, and we used M&M's as part of the lesson. It was FUN.

4. After church I went out to eat with some friends from church and we had fun. There are a group of us single gals who have bonded over the years and it was fun to do lunch one last time at Pizza Hut. It was priceless. M.L. even started crying when it was time to leave. I was determined not to cry, and didn't. :-) It was cool.

5. Finally, (saving my favorite part for last!) right after worship, the church gathered around me and prayed for me. Honestly, I was hoping they would, as I believe there is power in being blessed when you leave a church. And honestly, I have never had that experience before today. I had several words spoken over me. M.B. prophesied about me playing congas at IHOP. Honestly, I hadn't planned to play there as I didn't think I had the ability, but after today it has made me wonder. Secondly, I had C.T. pray about the kids I will be teaching. That was incredible. Finally, Karen, my Spiritual Mom, took the mic and told me what the Lord was telling her to tell me. (I know, for some of you this is WAY out of your belief system, and it's okay not to read on. :-)) She told me to "EXPECT MORE." That is what has stuck with me more than anything. Expect more. Gosh, He's already given me more than I prayed for...what else is left? :-)

Life.
Is.
Good.

From Gus

Yo! Gus here! I am the one that Shortone calls, "My little grey furball of a friend!"

Some of you don't know me, but I am the Yorkie that lives in the house where Shortone is staying for a few days. She attempted to take my picture several times today because she said she wanted to post a picture of me, but I ran away everytime I saw the camera. She gave up when I ran under her bed. She felt bad for me, so she let me go downstairs.

She is really, really, nice to me. She came over last night and I heard her telling Dad about how they loaded some moving truck in an hour. She said that the teenagers that helped her did an awesome job. She also said they were going to go up today and unload it. I spent some time with her up in her room, but not for very long because she went to bed.

This morning she was up really early and left before Mom and Dad were even awake! I came up to her room and said "Good Morning" to her when she was doing her hair. She is ALWAYS happy to see me!

She left this morning and came back late this afternoon. She has been sitting in her room watching movies on TV and relaxing because she said it was a busy day. She said the move went well and she's glad that part is over with for now. She said something about unpacking later in the week, but she was happy to have the packing part done. Oh and she said that they unloaded the truck in 45 minutes! She was really happy about that!

I come and go out of her room, and this last time I started walking on the laptop, so she said I could blog tonight. I'm not sure what "blog" means, but she's letting me type on here anyway. What is it with people and these gadgets? It seems humans like these gadgets, as for me, I'll take my chew stick, thank you very much!

Well, thanks for reading! Shortone seems tired, so this was fun.

Oh, and she said to add one last thing:

Life.
Is.
Good.

I Hate You...

I was sitting doing a puzzle yesterday when my B.D. kid turned to me as he was working on another puzzle and said, "I hate you." I stopped and looked at him, and he was smiling. He said, "Do you believe me?" I said, "No, I think you're kidding." And he said, "Yep." So we both smiled and went on our day. Later in the day he came back for Math and we were sitting there and he said, "I still hate you." And I said, "Yeah, I know, I am beginning to hate you too." He smiled and turned away. The kid is from a less-than-ideal home, and I imagine this is his only way of showing that he cares for me. I stopped and looked at him a little while later, as I was pondering how I should handle it, since I didn't want him saying, "I hate you" to everyone he really liked.

So I turned to him and said, "You know, you really shouldn't tell people you hate them."

To which he replied, "I know, it's just that you joke with us and make us laugh, so I wanted to make you laugh too."

I just smiled...and chuckled a smidge.

He got it.

And I did too.

So, for all of you reading this who I am about to leave to start a new adventure...

...I hate you too! :-)

Life.
Is.
Good.

My Last Night

So, I am sitting here in the apartment thinking, "Wow, this is my last evening in this apartment. Where did June go?"

Almost four months ago I moved in here, and was in a different place emotionally and spiritually than I am today. I remember my first night here, just sitting here thinking, "This is going to be REALLY hard." And honestly I was wrong. While living alone does have some real challenges, I am a healthier person today than I was when I first moved in here. A close friend of mine made a deep observation that I've clung to. I had commented that I felt like I was returning to the "old" Shortone. And she pointed out that all the stuff I walked through the past 5 years has pushed me closer to the Lord than I was before the experience. I'm moving into a "new" Shortone, with a depth in the Lord that has gained some wisdom along the way. And while I am finding joy, love, and peace on levels you will never understand (and I don't want you to, honestly), she is right. I learned things that I never would have learned any other way. And with each day, there is another step to healing. I like that.

So after school we're meeting and going to the storage unit to load up my stuff, then coming here to load up the rest of the stuff. Then Saturday we're headed North to unload it all. One week from tonight I am up North...wow...

Life.
Is.
Good.

Laughter

I have laughed a lot today. I found myself on the floor today with our pre-schoolers in Special Education and we were working on puzzles. This summer I have discovered the joy of puzzles all over again. I used to really love puzzles, but haven't done very many of them in recent years. So, I was laying on the floor with about 7 kids who are about 5 years old, and they were asking for my help. One child, Dakota, was working on a puzzle and turned to me and said, "Help." I said, "Okay". Now, I should tell you, I didn't see the picture before he took it apart. It was one of those small puzzles with about 10 big pieces for little kids. So, I started trying to help, and had no idea what the final picture was supposed to be. I picked up a red piece of the puzzle to try and make it fit, and Dakota took it from me immediately and said, "No!" He took the piece and put it right where it needed to be! :-) I just sat there and laughed...so much for helping the 5 year old.

Later on in the morning, two girls come into my room to tell me that there was a boy in the girls restroom. I got up and went in, and found a 5 year old boy who was scared to death. My guess is that he just got turned around and thought he was in the boys restroom and realized he made a mistake. After getting the girls out of the restroom, I was able to get him out of the stall. He was really scared. Poor kid...stuck in the girls restroom!

Ah well, life goes on.

Life.
Is.
Good.

Where I Am

Mister Teacher (and others) asked. You should know, I'm alive. Lots of stuff has eaten my will to blog. Facebook is a big factor (yeah, I know, it really didn't hurt when I made like a lemming and went off the cliff...) but I've also just been framing thoughts differently in my head. I've been semi working on a possible stand up routine, reading books, the dog ate my weblog. Just haven't felt it.

Tell you what, I'll try to think toward blogging. Don't know how soon, but I'll try.

Facebook as a Second Hobby...

Since I have gotten this new computer, I feel as if I've entered the world of current technology. I know, I know, one month from now (if not sooner) it will be out-of-date. However, I have been making myself do the important stuff each night before I get on the computer because once I'm on, I kinda get sucked-in for a little while. It's good I learned how to discipline myself in college, or nothing would get done around here! :-)

Something I've found on here is a Facebook application that allows me to post from iphoto to Facebook automatically. This has made me happy, but also made me do other chores first before I get on here, because it is developing into a second hobby. Which is fun. Honestly, for a single gal, it is neat to have a new way to connect with friends and family all over the world.

I have even given some thought recently to who I have as friends on Facebook. I went through my friends list, and realize that there is someone from each chapter of my life in it. I have high school friends, PSU friends, PLF friends, BYKOTA family, CF Family, and Barnabas friends on it. I even have my best friend from 4th grade on it! It's neat.

I have gotten to follow as some friends have gotten married, had kids, changed jobs, gotten divorced, moved away, and change pets. Yes, even the family pets seem to make it on Facebook. (Mine will as soon as I get him!)

I think it's a wonderful tool. It's obviously not that only tool out there, I mean, the phone should still be used to communicate too. However, I love being able to get to know people and see what they are doing today. That is PRICELESS in my book.

Even as I move from this chapter into a whole new chapter in my life, I still to get stay in touch with those I care about the most, and those I never see anymore. To me, that is a blessing!

Life.
Is.
Good.

Introducing...

This is our newest addition to the family. His name is Indy and is a member of Scienceguy's family. He is a CUTE little guy who I spent the afternoon with at our family Father's Day Shin-Dig and I fell in love with him. He is a keeper! In this picture, he's laying by the air vent, which was a favorite spot for him all afternoon. At one point this afternoon I plopped down on the floor by the vent and he would come and see me, and the vent, and then head back out to visit people. He would usually come back around in a short amount of time and we would cuddle or wrestle and then he would go back to be with everyone else. He's a cutie, and I'm glad he's part of our family! He's definitely a keeper! Welcome Home, Indy!

The Bowen Hall Gang

Ten Years ago I graduated from Pittsburg State University, and while I was there I lived in the dorms...er...Residence Halls, and became pretty involved in that community. I realize that not everyone is cut-out for dorm life, but I fit right in. (Go ahead, call me a geek, it wouldn't be the first time I've heard it.) During my four years in the dorms, I became close to some really neat people. We all sort of ran around together and got to know each other pretty well. Since then, we have all gone our own separate ways, and have re-connected via Facebook.

So tonight we had a small reunion. And it was a BLAST. I haven't laughed that much in one evening since I was in college there! Rino is ALWAYS good for a laugh, and he had us all laughing so hard that it hurt at times. It was also fun to see Watts and his wife with their son as well. Gosh, it was all just cool. The cool part is that most of them live in the KC area, so I will be closer to them. I seriously doubt that we'll hang out all that often, but it is comforting to know that I already have some friends up here. Tonight was one of those "priceless" sort of evenings. I am a blessed gal. Incredibly blessed.

Life.
Is.
Good.

Easy versus Right

I have spent the evening packing, and honestly feel as if I'm really making some headway. You would think a short, single gal wouldn't have a lot of stuff to pack, but I do. I will say that the move I made almost 4 months ago has been quite a blessing. I have thrown out stuff, taken stuff to Goodwill, and recycled paper. I will admit, I didn't do as much as I had hoped in the past several months, but I have less than I did. Karen told me the night I moved in here to purge out my closet, and I have done that!

It's amazing to me how much I fought the move for so long. I kept thinking, "If I can make it until July, I can avoid moving twice." That's just human nature, I believe. We always want the easy route. I know I do. I'll look at a situation and say, "Okay, what's the easiest way to solve this problem?" What I have learned is that God doesn't always want "easy", he wants what is RIGHT.

I have learned so much about myself in the past 4 months, and I needed this step to get to the next step in my life. All evening I have thought, "This is my last Friday here in the apartment. One week from tonight we load the truck, and two weeks from now I'll be up North."

Wow.

Six years ago this month I walked into IHOP-KC and wanted to move up there.

Now that dream is coming true.

In many ways, the past four months have been hard. And in many other ways, I have been happier than I have been in years.

God knew I would be here.
Today.
Now.

It kinda boggles the mind if you try and wrap your mind around it, but we're not supposed to be able to do that. Otherwise, there wouldn't be any point in living by faith.

"Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1

I don't know what the next step looks like, but I know what I'm hoping for and praying for, and faith is to believe in what we do not see. It's not going to be EASY, but it is going to be God's Will for my life, and that's what matters.

I know that God isn't going to let me down, and it's going be an adventure that I wouldn't trade for all the money in the world...

Life.
Is.
Good.

I'm Kind of a Big Deal

Tonight I headed out to a Notgonnasettlegal's place for the evening. It was supposed to be our regular get-to-together and wound up being a Surprise Going-Away party for me! There was pizza, M&M's, pepsi, and chocolate chip cookies, and gifts. I was shocked. Surprised. Blessed. Laura even came! :-) I tell ya, I was blessed repeatedly.

As I entered the room, the kids in my Sunday School Class came out of the bedroom! That blessed me more than I am sure I showed them. The coolest part is that my last Sunday at church I get to teach the kids! How perfect is that? :-)

All my gifts were perfect, and I came home with 5 big bags of M&M's! I got a two necklaces and a friendship bracelet from one family.

My favorite gift came from Laura. It was a sign for my new place that says, "I'm Kind of a Big Deal." I started laughing the moment I opened it! I tell ya, Laura knows me well! I am loved very well.

I should crash.
Since I'm Kind of a Big Deal. :-)

Life.
Is.
Good.

Meltdowns

Today I started the day at Summer School in a GREAT mood. I attended a faculty meeting last night in L.S. and it went really well. While I was exhausted from the long day yesterday, I was in a great mood. Then I was challenged...

My autistic student for the Summer was in a good mood at first. He was the only one in my first group due to the fact the other student was absent. He did very well and stayed on task, since it was just the two of us. I knew things would change when my other students arrived, but I didn't expect what was coming.

About 9:55, he still had two questions on his worksheet to do before he could go to P.E. This is typical, and I usually say "Do those last two and you can go" and he complies. Today, he did not. I followed with "If you don't get it done, you are not going to P.E." That was the WRONG thing to say. He looked at me, and started crying. I turned to help a student and I saw a pencil fly through the air from his direction. I calmly looked at him, and said, "Okay, that's five minutes off of P.E." I turned to help the other student and AGAIN a different pencil flew through the air.

Hum...

I turned and he started sobbing. I sat there and silently prayed. Autistic kids thrive off attention in this case. So, I said, "Okay, you can stay until you're calm. This is in your control, not mine. This isn't MY FAULT, it is yours." He sat and sobbed, threw his glasses (which we retrieved and I held onto) and hollered. We shut the door, stayed inside, and ignored him. At one point the B.D. teacher came in and said, "You want me to take him?" And I said, "Nah, the more attention he gets outta this, the worse it will be." He agreed and left.

The tantrum went on for 30 minutes. He doesn't like it when I pay attention to others. He REALLY doesn't like it when I pay attention to others. So, I kept on working with my other students. He cried, sobbed, tried to talk to me, and I just worked with the other students until he was done.

At 10:30, he said, "I'm ready to go back now." He was calm, and I thought, "Crud, now I gotta tell him P.E. is over."

I looked at him and said, "Okay, let's go back to class." He looked at me and said, "What about P.E."

I looked at him and said, "You had a tantrum through the whole thing. It's over now."

He teared up, but kept it together. He could tell I was done.

After I walked him back to class, I was headed back to class when I thought about it all.

I'm so THANKFUL that God listens to our tantrums and loves us through it. He is never too busy to hear us, and honestly knows me better than I know TantrumKid. While there is a difference, as I don't know what the next moment holds for TantrumKid, and God knows what my little corner of the world has in store for me, I am SO GLAD that God always listens.

He always hear us.
Speaks to us.
And takes care of us all at once.
He's never stressed out by us.
Never disappointed in us.
And loves us unconditionally.
Thank God.

As for me, I am praying TantrumKid is better tomorrow.
Tomorrow is a new day...

Life.
Is.
Good.

Blessed

Today I got up and went to church. I know, you're all shocked to hear that! :-) Just kidding. As I was sitting in church, I got to thinking...

I find that this move is becoming more and more real to me with the passing of each day. I know, you're all thinking, "You've known this was coming." While that is true, now that I'm starting to say "Good-bye" to people, it's becoming more and more real..and difficult.

I remember when I was in the 7th grade we moved from Texas up to Kansas, and I had my first round of true insomnia in my life. In the months before we moved, I was so nervous about leaving my good friends, I would lay awake at night and think, "Okay, if I fall asleep now I would only get ____ hours of sleep." Looking back, there were some long nights but I am pretty sure I did eventually fall sleep each night. And even though I knew the move was going to happen, it wasn't until the actual day came and I remember standing outside the house as my parents wound up selling the deck furniture to the new owners of the house and thinking, "This really is real." (Isn't it interesting what details we remember from our childhoods?) I am beginning to feel that same thing.

While I have moved MANY times since I living with the parental unit, this move is the biggest in my opinion because it's the longest I have lived anywhere in my adult life. So, I was sitting at church today thinking stuff like, "Two weeks from today is my last day on the worship team here...last day to teach here..." It was getting a bit saddening in a sense... Then I went to our leadership meeting.

At the end of the leadership meeting they gathered around me to pray for me, blessing me to move on to other things. And, as usual, the Lord spoke to me in what they said to me. I came home and wrote everything down, and felt better than I had while I was sitting in church. I was reminded that even though I'm nervous, an even bigger part of me is excited...nervousness is normal. And, I have never left one place and entered something worse...God has ALWAYS led me somewhere even better than where I was in the last place. So I know that where I'm going will be even better than where I am now, and honestly I am happy now at both church and school. And, I know that in about 6 months, I'll be saying, "God, you've given me SO MUCH more than I prayed for." As Karen said today, He already has, so what's to come is going to be even bigger and better...

Life.
Is.
Good.

Deep Down Inside...

I was re-reading my past blog posts and decided to see what I could come up this time around on my "Deep Down Inside" thoughts. My last one was pretty deep, but it was quite a while back, and I am anxious to see what this looks like when I'm done... Old post is at: http://perspectives-on-life.blogspot.com/2007/10/deep-down-inside.html)

...I feel myself returning to an old version of me...a happier version than I've had in years...it's nice to hear myself laughing deeply again...
...I am happy about moving and nervous all at the same time...
...I miss my former roommate from time to time and then I wonder why...
...I wonder if I'll actually hang out at the lake when I move or just look at it from a distance...
...I think about my B.D. student this Summer and wish I could take him with me to KC, but then I'd be in jail, so I won't...but I wish I could...
...I wonder how expensive life is going to be up North, and PRAY that I have enough stashed away to do this without a loan from the Parental Unit...
...I am looking forward to meeting Indy, the family's newest member, next weekend!!!
...I am wondering what my future dog looks like...
...I am REALLY looking forward to Camp again this year...it's always the best week of the Summer!
...I wish people could consider my limp normal, instead of abnormal...
...there are days I wish I could have one day where NOONE would stare at my leg...
...I miss Laura...I am happy she's ministering at Camp, and I can't wait to see her at camp, but I sure miss her...
...I am glad that I will be able to go to IHOP-KC everyday...don't know if I will go everyday, but I like the idea that I CAN if I WANT...
...I am blessed to have Karen as a mentor...I am closer to God because of her...
...I wonder why I enjoy Facebook so much, but then find comfort in the fact I can stay in touch with friends via Facebook when I move...
...I thought my sprained ankle would be healed by now, and it's not, so I walk more goofy than usual, and honestly feel God building my character in the process...and it's DEFINITELY NOT KNOCKING ME DOWN! :-)
...I am thankful for SingingGal and her family...they have no idea how they have blessed me in recent months, just by being themselves...and I'm in denial of the fact I won't be 15 minutes away from them in a few weeks...
...I am waiting for the person God has for me...waiting...waiting...waiting...
...I am praying that my new co-workers are as cool as my fourth grade teachers are here...
...I am going to miss Jay, the autistic kid I've tutored for years, more than he knows...
...I said good-bye to one of my students yesterday and fought tears for the first time in all this moving stuff...
...I want to be the best encourager on the planet!
...I want to inspire kids to be more than they think they can be...
...I am holding onto Hebrews 11:1 and Zephaniah 3:17 in ways you don't even know, will never know and aren't supposed to know...
...I believe there's good in all my students, some days it's just harder to see than others...
...I know there are people who have judged me for the last chapter of my life in a negative way, but I know that I did my best and that's all I could do...
...I wonder what my life will look like ten years from now...
...I can't wait to see the Bowen Hall gang next weekend...where did ten years go again?
...I am convinced that I have the best family on the planet...we're not perfect, but we're a kind group of people...
...I learned kindness from my Mom and Dad...Mom is the most selfless gal I know, and Dad will hear me say, "That's cool" when I see something I like and remember it at a holiday and give it to me when I had forgotten what I had said earlier...
...I miss D.D. already, and I'm not even gone...
...Scienceguy is my hero...
...my students here have blessed me in ways they don't even realize...
..."Not so much" will always remind me of my tall friend, and make me smile...
...I'm gonna miss saying, "Good Morning Mr. H." as I enter the building and hearing the standard grunt response from him...
...BarnabasGirl is someone I think about and pray for everyday...
...I wonder how friendships can shift and end when two friends were so close once upon a time...
...I feel blessed that God has given the ability to walk...since my ankle sprain, I have realized how much I take walking without pain for granted...
...there are some days I feel more proud of myself than others...and remember God loves me anyway...
...I wonder how I lived for 5 years without cable...seriously...
...every time I hear "crazy" or "seriously" I will think of SingingGal and smile...
...I wish I could love God as much as He loves me...
...I miss Tooldude...
...I think perspective is the key to a happy life...
...I wonder if I should enjoy tv shows with hostage situations as much as I do...
...I love to make others smile and laugh...that's one of my many goals in life...
...I love to bless others...
...I love it when a kid learns something hard, and says, "I did it!"...
...I hate the word "can't"...it should be erased from the dictionary...it's not allowed in my classroom...EVER...
...I love to love...that's what life is all about...
...at the end of my life I hope people think of me and the words Kind and Loving together...

Life.
Is.
Good.

Gus

So, last night I left out one of the other coolest dogs on the planet. His name is Gus, and is a three pound Yorkie that I have fallen in love with too! The week I moved out of my last chapter of my life, I stayed with a friend and her family in Joplin until I moved in here, and Gus ALWAYS knew exactly what I needed and when I needed it. He would come into "my" room and cuddle with me, play with me, and just comfort me when the tears fell from time to time. He is the reason I want a Yorkie if I don't get the other dog I may possibly get.

Tonight I went over to Gus' house and had a GREAT time. I was sitting here at home on the couch, and honestly didn't want to leave, but Gus was what got me off the couch, honestly. I knew I would get to see him and play with him if I went.

When I arrived, Gus and I cuddled for quite a while, and had a GREAT time. Okay, I had fun with the people too, but everyone there understands my love for dogs, so it was considered "cute" that I was bonding with Gus. Gus weighs 3 pounds, and is SO CUTE.

Ah yes...dogs...family members that make us laugh and smile in ways people can't.

Cool.

Life.
Is.
Good.

Dogs

I find that the older I get, the more I fall in love with dogs. And it doesn't seem to matter what size or shape they are, I just seem to gravitate toward them, and usually they enjoy my company. In fact, most seem to be pleased when I arrive to their homes, which blesses me immensely.

I arrived today to tutor Jay, and their white medium sized dog came running down the stairs and whined until I pet her. It was sweet. Then tonight I went over to a friend's house and got to play with their dog. I tell ya, dogs are always happy. Well, okay, the dogs I come across are happy. Not always obedient, but they are happy. And, they are always happy to see me. Which is just wonderful in my book.

My brother and sister-in-law just adopted a Mini-Aussie, and are having the joyous puppy stages to walk through with that one. My brother commented on a separate blog that it's good he's cute or he'd be chained to the mailbox with a "good to free home" sign attached to him. Ah yes, it's good that they are cute, it keeps their owners motivated to go through all that puppy stuff with them.

My parents have Roxie and Rudy who are AWESOME dogs. Gosh, every time I go there, I awake to two dogs standing or sitting outside my door waiting for me to get up. That is a highlight for me, and makes me feel good. Roxie and Rudy are members of the family, just as Indy, Rocco, Sydney, Teddy, and Elia are in their homes.

So tonight I sat on a porch with a friend who is contemplating giving me her dog. I can't imagine any of the dogs mentioned above leaving my life, so my heart leaps for my friend and her family who are torn in so many emotions on this decision. There are little little people in the family, and so this decision isn't an easy one. I can't imagine giving up their dog, as he's a really good dog. Yeah, he sheds a lot and does other typical dog stuff that dogs do, but even she is openly struggling with it.

To me, he isn't just a dog, he's a member of their family. So, if he stays, that's cool. I discovered the other night how many dogs need to be rescued from other HORRIBLE situations, and I would be a GREAT adoptive parent of one of those dogs. There was even one posted online that I would've taken in a heartbeat if it wasn't for the fact I am not in a place just yet that will allow pets. 3 weeks from tonight I'll be there...which is crazy in itself.

So, whenever I hear the phrase, "Just a dog," I don't buy that. Dogs are family members, and can bring joy and love into a person's life in a way that a person cannot. I know just from last November through April, Roxie and Rudy gave me the best support available. And, the greatest part was, I didn't say a word, they just knew.

So whether it's my friend's dog or another dog, I am looking forward to having my own dog for the first time in my adult life.

Hum...

Life.
Is.
Good.

Going Away Party!

There has been a storm blowing through tonight, and I am going to believe that that is the reason for the low turnout at my Going-Away Party. Truthfully, though, it was perfect! The people who REALLY matter were there, and that's what matters in my book. I got more M&M's, and a card from Mr. C. that will be living in a Scrapbook soon. It was GREAT. We vented a little, but laughed even more than we vented. It was priceless, and a night I don't ever want to forget...

Life.
Is.
Good.

It's Official...and a Welcome to BarnabasGirl!

First of all, a WARM welcome to BarnabasGirl! While we haven't met in person, I am getting to know her via another website and her messages are becoming a true highlight of my day! She also has CP and LOVES Camp Barnabas! If you've been reading my blog for a while you know that my one week at Camp as a volunteer is my second favorite week of the year. While I won't be there the same week she is going to be there, I know that this is the beginning of a WONDERFUL friendship! Glad you're a Reader to the Blog, BarnabasGirl!

Secondly, I got the call today, and I am approved for the Townhomes in Lee's Summit. While I am not surprised, as I have worked my tail off the past several years to raise my credit score, it felt good to have the official OK. So, now the moving fun begins...again. Fortunately, this will be the last move for a while...I HOPE. So, I have boxes at the apartment to pack, and still have some odds and ends to sort through, as your short little friend is not moving any more than is necessary!

18 Minutes from IHOP-KC.
10 Minutes from my new Elementary School.
Just down the street from a lake, with a pool, and walking trails!
3 Bedrooms.
2.5 Baths
Dishwasher.
Washer/Dryer hook-up (Next investment for ShortOne to make is the Washer and Dryer!)
Garage that leads into the living room.
Storage Space.
Pets Allowed.
No propane tank to fill!

More than I prayed for!

Life.
Is.
Good.

Friendship

Today we had our second workday for church. We went out into the community and cleaned up a couple yards, and had a good time. I enjoyed the workday, as it gave me time to get to know some people I didn't know very well before the workday. I even got to hold a five month old a couple times, and got to feed her too! It was a real highlight for me to hold the baby and feed her. I don't get to do that a whole lot, so that was a blessing.

The best part of the day was hanging out with SingingGal and her family. We rode all over town, joking and laughing. Even EnergizerKid joined us. We saw turtles, baby frogs, and a rabbit along the way. The turtle went home with SingingGal's family, which was a bit funny to me! I remember a few months back I was trying to hold onto a friendship that was one-sided, and I found myself repeatedly thinking, "Thank You God for SingingGal and her family." Phrases such as "Seriously" and "Crazy" now have a whole new meaning to me...and we always laugh as we say it.

Life.
Is.
Good.
(Seriously!)

Craziness!

Lately, a close friend of mine and I have been using the phase, "It's crazy!" It has referred to SO MANY different situations, and I sit here in the Prayer Room, and feel so blessed by God...thinking, this is CRAZY! But, it's not. Kinda weird, huh? Well, let me share a little story with you...

I came up a few weeks ago to tour the new school I will be teaching at, and my Mom and I looked at a rental property. It was a two-bedroom townhome with one and a half baths, and they were asking $750/month for it. Now, it was okay, and it would have worked, but honestly I didn't feel that it was "it." I just didn't feel it was what God had for me. And, I was right!

Today my Mom and I spent the afternoon looking at rental properties. We started out at a SMALL duplex for $595. It was incredibly small, and I knew it wasn't it. The next place was a two bedroom duplex also, and they were asking like $720. It was small.

Our third actual place was a townhome, and it turned out to be "it". It has three bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a washer and dryer hookup (that will be my next investment!), a nice size living room, and plenty of storage. Oh, and it even has a garage. The best part...THEY ALLOW PETS! :-) It is ten minutes from my new school and about 15 minutes to IHOP-KC. :-) I sit here and think, "God I knew it! I knew you would give me more than I could ever think or imagine!" I am blessed.

Life.
Is.
Good!

Summer School Thoughts...

I have spent the past two days in a completely new building in the same district I've taught in for the past ten years, and LOVE it! While I miss my close friends at work, I am really enjoying something new. The building is beautiful, and I am in a classroom with windows, which is AWESOME!

I am REALLY enjoying the kids too. Their stories are gut-wrenching, honestly, but I know that God has put me in their lives for this Summer. As one student said, "I'm going through a lot right now," and I said, "I know, that's why I'm here!" Which was what I really believe.

I had forgotten how much I have to "train" students and staff about my limp, as everyone knows me in my old school. I have given my "I was born with CP" speech MANY times, and the kids are doing the usual "Cool" routine. One boy looked at me today after I said the speech and said, "That's okay, I take medicine for ADHD." Leave it to a kid to make a correlation between CP and ADHD. :-)

Only bummer to all of this is that my free time with SingingGal has been incredibly limited compared to what we had previously planned, but we're shooting for a trip to IHOP next weekend. :-) God is going to give us time together before I leave...I just know it!

As usual...

Life.
Is.
Good.

5 Little Words...

I had an appointment this afternoon with my neurologist, and it was the first appointment I've had in about 5 months. She has been such a blessing on so many levels that I can't explain it to you in a blog post. She has been my doctor since 2003, and has been more than a physician in my book. There were several times I went in to see her, and after she would ask some questions, I would basically break down crying due to the home situation I was in in the last chapter of my life. She would listen, comfort, give words of encouragement, and help me to see the bigger picture of things. And at the end she would always say, "You need to leave..." I would smile and say "I know, but I feel so responsible financially..." She said she understood, but her face said otherwise...

So today I went in and told her I had accepted a position up north, and she was SO HAPPY for me. Truly happy. I mean, smiling ear-to-ear happy. What came next is something I will never, ever forget. She said, "So now you can get out of your living situation." And, I looked at her and said, "Oh yeah, I left that in March. I made a decision after some words were said, moved in with a friend, and was in an apartment a week later."

She just looked at me.
Then she smiled, and said...

"I'm so proud of you!"

I sat there and looked at her. And I got it. I got what she was saying...and then she went on...

"You could have become angry and bitter, but instead you focused on your goals, and are making your dreams come true."

I just smiled.

She's right.

Life.
Is.
Good.

The Unexpected Blessing!

So, I was headed yesterday to pick up my semi-adopted son for the evening and I got a phone call. Honestly, when I realized who it was, I was nervous because it was my Special Education Supervisor and I was afraid she was calling to tell me I had paperwork to fix. (I still might, but that wasn't the reason for the call.) The good news was that she wasn't calling to talk about paperwork, she was calling to offer me a Summer School job. :-) I had actually prayed off and on since I found out I didn't get Summer School about finances because I don't have as much in savings as I would like to make the move North. I can do it, and my parents had offerred to help, but the older I get the more independent I have become and I want to do things on my own. (And, of course, God is actually teaching me more and more to ask for help from others.) So, now I have the ability to work for 21 days and make some money to stash into savings. :-) I'm a bit bummed about giving up my sleeping in days, but I figure I can sacrifice 21 days for the blessing God is giving me.

What can I say?

Life.
Is.
Good.

June 1 Already?

Today was our last day of school, and I can hardly believe it's here. It seems as if it was just the first day of school. I really do think that every year goes by faster than the one before. I remember when we heard that June 1 was our last day that we all thought, "That late?" Time flies when you're having fun...

You would have thought I would have been all sad and crying and such, but I wasn't. I know that it's time to move on. I just smiled, took hugs, and said, "Thanks, I'll miss you too." I am loved very well here, and it was a nice last day at school.

I still have a few odds and ends to clean up tomorrow, but it feels good to know the regular year is over.

Of course, my favorite part...sleeping in.

:-)
Life.
Is.
Good.