Day 3: OT 2010

Today was a blast!
Shuttles 11-3:15ish.
Prayer Room 3:15-5.
Dinner with Nahirny's, 5-5:30-ish.
Saved seats in the auditorium.
Hung out with Leesh and the girls.
7:00-8:20ish, Jaye led worship.
8:20ish-9:20ish, Commercials, etc.
9:20ish-? Allen Hood Preached.
10ish, picked up Drummerboy from CEC.
11:00ish arrived at GPR, to find that I couldn't get out of my parking space.
Prayed.
Waited.
5 minutes later, a person arrived and moved their car so I could get out. (Praise the Lord!)
Took Drummerboy home.
12:00ish, arrived home.

It's hard to choose just ONE highlight tonight.
On one hand, I encountered God tonight when Jaye led worship.
It was REALLY cool.
On the other hand, Allen preached a sermon that was the first one in SEVERAL months that ministered to me. And even though I had to leave early to get Drummerboy, it was refreshing.
So I guess I had two favorite parts.
*grin*
Life.
Is.
Good.

Day 2: OT 2010

Today was so much fun!
Shuttles 11-3.
Hang out with Leesh from 3:30-ish to 7, when service began.
Ate dinner with Nahirny's. Loved it.
Matt Gilman led worship at 7.
8:20 Commercials, offering, Dave Sliker.
10-ish, Lou Engle Preached.
10:40-ish, Matt led one song.
11-ish boarded bus.
12-ish, returned home.

My favorite part?
Hard to guess isn't it?
*grin*
Matt's set, 7-8:20.
I encountered God.
I was moved.
I was changed.
I am in awe.
I can't wait until tomorrow...

*grin*
LIfe.
Is.
Fun.

Day 1: OT 2010

Drove shuttles 11-ish until about 7-ish with about an hour break.
Attended Misty's set in the main auditorium from 7-8:20-ish.
Went to the Prayer Room from 8:20-10.
My favorite part?
The Prayer Room 8:20-10.
Matt Gilman led.
I encountered God.
And was changed.
Can't wait until tomorrow!

*grin*
Life.
Is.
Good!

ONETHING EVE!!!

For those of you new to my corner of the world this year, I want to share with you that the next four days are my FAVORITE days out of the ENTIRE year! It is the Annual Onething Conference, hosted by IHOP-KC. I have honestly lost count of how many Onething Conferences I have attended, but each year God has met me in a very special way at the conference. And, I know this year He'll meet me again!

Actually, I drove shuttles tonight for about 3 hours to help people get down there and back for setup. It takes several days to set up for the conference. And for me, the conference actually started tonight.

Tongiht, Arden got on my shuttle. I had met Arden several times before on the shuttle, and was excited when she got on and rode up front with me. It's about a 25 minute drive from Bartle Hall to the GPR, and it was nice to have a friend to share the ride with. She got in and immediately showed me the ring on her left finger and told me that she is engaged. I was SO excited for her. She's probably my age, if not a little bit older, and she went on to share her story with me about her fiancee Paul, and how God had orchestrated their love story. I'll be honest, sometimes I have to take a thought of jealousy captive when I hear someone is engaged, but tonight I felt TRUE joy for Arden. She has waited for this guy, and it is who God has for her. I just smiled and told her I really needed to hear that story. As I kept driving Arden prayed for me. I was touched by her kindness, and felt the Lord's peace as she prayed. God has been speaking to me about a lot of things lately, and that was the PERFECT way to start out the Conference this year! *grin*

This week is going to be BUSY and TIRING and FUN. And one week from tonight, I'll wish we could do it all over again! *grin*

Life.
Is.
AWESOME.

The Maze Runner

Have you ever been sucked into a really good book? I mean, so hooked on it, that you spent ALL DAY reading it? If not, my heart leaps for you! To me, there's nothing quite like a GREAT book!

One year ago, my brother and sister-in-law gave me the book, The Hunger Games. I was completely hooked on it, and went on to read the next two books in the series. If you like action and a little romance, I recommend that book series!

Today I spent the whole day reading THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner. I have been COMPLETELY engrossed in it! Jay has been a good sport, letting me read on the couch as he cuddled with me sometimes, or simply sitting on HIS recliner and watched everyone walk by and barked at them! I'm not done with the book, but I will be before I crash tonight. There is a sequel that I will go buy tomorrow as well. This book is so good that I want to loan it to people to read! It reminds me a little bit of The Hunger Games, as it is about kids who are in a live-or-die situation. It's been very suspenseful and enjoyable. More than once today I wished that I knew someone who read it too so I could yell with them at the various parts of the book! *grin*

I have a lot to do tomorrow to prepare for Onething on Tuesday, but today was GREAT! And, with Onething in two days, this week is going to ROCK!

*grin*
Life.
Is.
GREAT....with a GREAT book in your hands!

December 25th, 2007

I posted my Christmas post last night because I had planned to post tonight about Jay. I post quite a bit about Jay, I realize that, but today is very special for me because Jay was born three years ago today. Jay is an incredible dog, and my Best Friend. Jay has been an enormous answer to prayer!

About four years ago (Not sure exactly of the timeline, as my Beech Road Experience Days seem to all run together these days) I was snowed in for an entire week. School was cancelled and my parents had loaned me the book "Marley and Me" while I had been home for the break. Throughout the week that we were snowed in I read the book, and at the end of it, I actually cried because I wanted a dog that was as special as the dog in the book. The book made me long for a dog. So, I started praying at that point in my own life for a dog.

The day I brought Jay home I prayed that Jay would have all the qualities I had prayed for. And, God was incredibly faithful to fulfill all that I had hoped and dreamed of in a dog. I adopted him when he was 1.5 years old, and he still had quite a bit of puppy in him. Today he has settled into an incredibly special furry kid. He loves to cuddle, which is one of the things I had prayed for. He is also faithful and LOVES to just hang out with me. I love this kid!!!

Not a day goes by that I don't Thank God for the gift He gave me in Jay. I truly believe that when He made Jay, he made him with me in mind. Three years ago today, my furry kid was born.

*grin*
Happy Birthday, Jay!

Merry Christmas, My Friends!

Dear Family and Friends,
Hi! Jay here! Shannon said that I could write the Christmas letter again this year, which made me VERY excited! Since we’re best friends, it only makes sense that I write the letter for us! ☺
This year has been a really good year for us! While very little has changed since the last letter, Shannon said that’s why it was such a good year! She moved twice last year, so the fact that she has been in the same house all year has made her VERY happy! ☺
Shannon gets up everyday and goes to work at S.V.E., here in L.S. This is the second year the school has been open, and she is REALLY enjoying this year. This year she is only working with students in fourth, fifth, and sixth grades, and she really enjoys her job. She says it’s what God made her to do!
Shannon continues to drive shuttles regularly for IHOP-KC. IHOP-KC is still her favorite place on the planet, and she has met some incredible people there. Shuttles are one of her favorite parts of her week, as she gets to shuttle people from an extra parking lot to the center where services are held on Sunday Mornings. She also plans on driving shuttles to the end-of-year conference, (Onething) which is also a highlight of her entire year. Shannon prayed for seven years to be a part of IHOP-KC, and is really enjoying living here and being part of what God is doing here.
I was excited this year because I got to go stay at RockStarPara’s House while Shannon spent TWO weeks out at Camp Barnabas this year. She went during the Autism Week and was SO EXCITED to get to be in Ronni’s Cabin again! Ronni is one of her favorite campers, and she prayed to be in her cabin again and got it! She is already praying to be a part of her cabin again this coming summer! She came home for a day and then went back out to camp for the Blind/Deaf Week. She was nervous because she didn’t know people from that Term, but it was the week she fell in love with the Deaf Community. She took Sign Language Classes back in college years ago, but had never applied it in real life. During that week, she met Torrey, a young lady with Cerebral Palsy who was also deaf. Shannon and Torrey connected on a DEEP level and she came back here and signed up for more Sign Language Classes! She is loving the classes, and is praying about what her new heart for the deaf will look like in real life, but is enjoying learning more Sign Language now.
Shannon and I have a great time together. We walk around the neighborhood almost everyday. We walk a mile each day. We also cuddle nightly, so I know I am loved very well. She says that she sometimes misses her Joplin friends, but with Facebook and email, it’s okay. She also drives down to Joplin regularly to see her friends
Her favorite scripture this year continues to be Hebrews 11:1: Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see. We both hope that the things you’re hoping and praying for will come to pass in 2011!
Love & Blessings, Jay and Shannon

Super Mario Brothers

I am going to show my age a little bit tonight, but I really don't care. I'm 37 so it's not like I'm ancient or anything. *grin*

When I was a kid, my family bonded through video games. I remember being very young and going to the arcade to play Pac-Man and Galaga, and did it with just one quarter per game. It was A LOT of fun.

In time, we got an Atari and played for HOURS on it. In fact, I remember my brother and I being sent to bed, and my parents staying up to play without us. (What mean parents I had!) I remember games such as Centipede and Missile Command being the big games, and we would have our own competitions in our home.

When we got older and could stay home alone, we had a Nintendo. I remember playing Nintendo for HOURS on end. I also remember LOVING Super Mario Brothers. It came with the Nintendo game set, and I worked SO HARD to conquer all the "worlds" within the game. It was a lot of fun!!!

All my loyal readers know that early this year I finally bought a Wii. I have gone through various stages with the Wii, sometimes I play it a lot, and some months I don't even turn it on. Overall though, I am glad I bought it because just like when I was a kid, it gives me something to do with people when I guests over.

I recently bought the New Super Mario Brothers Wii game. I tried it out a couple weekends ago, and LOVED it, so I splurged and bought one for me. Today I had a friend over and we played it for about 8 hours! It was SO MUCH FUN! When we conquered World 1 we were dancing and yelling and cheering. Of course, it took us roughly 7 hours to do it! *grin*

I often hear people complaining about video games, and I will admit I have been one of those people from time to time. However, today I was reminded of what GOOD can come out of a video game.

First of all, it drew my friend and me closer together as we worked toward a common goal. We cheered each other on as we worked TOGETHER to beat the levels! It was also fun to figure things out with him too. I mean, he had never played the game before and I had only played it once before, so there was plenty to figure out. Sure, we could have read the manual, but what fun would that have been? *grin*

Secondly, it made me think about how hard we worked to beat the game. It took a lot of patience and perseverance to beat the game. More than once we talked about quitting, and we did take a brief break. In the end, we didn't quit. We kept at it, and in the end we knew we had EARNED the right to play level 2!

Finally, it reminded me of being at home as a kid, laying around on the living room floor yelling at the TV together. And cheering each other on to victory together. Today was priceless to me.

The coolest part is that we're only on Level 2, and have PLENTY more to figure out! I can't wait!

Right now though, I have a book to read! Gosh, I love break!

*grin*
Life.
Is.
Good.

Assemblies

Okay, so we can't officially call our assembly today "Christmas" but it felt like Christmas today in our gymatorium. This is my twelfth Christmas as a teacher, and today's assembly was the most memorable and amazing one I have attended. One of the advantages of being a new school is creating our own traditions as we go. Last year I missed the assembly because I took Jay to school with me, and I wanted to stay in the room with him and make sure he was okay. (I could have gone, he slept the whole time!) Today we had a really neat assembly.

First, we had our Super Citizen Awards given out. It was great to see the kids recognized.

Next, we sang traditional Christmas songs. We had our Student Council Members pass out little bells for the kids to shake during various Christmas Songs. It was really neat, as the kids from Student Council collected them after each song and gave them to different kids. They did a really good job!

I wound up spending the assembly by a Kindergardener who was precious. We sang songs and talked in between each song about what we had just sung. He was really sweet.

About halfway through our music, the staff got up and did our dance. It was something we worked on briefly over the past week, and it was a lot of fun to do in front of the students. I'm so blessed to be a part of a young staff who is willing to do things like that for the kids!

During our song, Grandpa Hochsprung came out and joined us. The kids loved it! After the song, Grandpa Hochsprung read to us The Night Before Christmas. It was SO cool! Grandpa did a GREAT job!

We finished out the assembly by singing some more Christmas carols. It was amazing. The whole thing lasted about an hour, but felt like 5 minutes because it was so much fun!

My favorite part of it all was at the end when the 6th graders played their bells and the kids exited the gymatorium singing Silent Night. It was priceless, and something I will never forget.

I'm so blessed to be here. While there have been some rough patches here and there, I am glad I landed here. While there are days I ache for my old school and friends, I know I am where God wants me to be. *grin*

We're on break now, which feels NICE. In fact, I have a new book to go read. *grin*

'nite.

Life.
Is.
Amazing, when you know you're where God wants you to be. *grin*

In Less Than A Week...

...we will celebrate the birth of Christ.

I have pondered that A LOT today. I think a 5 hour car ride (approximately) can do that to a person. I spent the car ride listening to the Chris Tomlin Christmas CD that I discovered the other night. (How I missed the release of the CD, I'll never know!) I love the CD! It has brought me closer to God throughout today.

I pondered what Christmas used to mean to me, and what it means to me today. It seems as if every year I do the debate in my head. Yes, we are celebrating the birth of a Savior, but I'm giving gifts to people, not to a Savior that came and died for my sins. It seems backward to me.

I will never forget Christmas 1997, the first Christmas after I accepted Jesus into my heart, and I felt like it was the first Christmas that I understood the Holiday in a meaningful way. Which seemed strange to me, even then. I was 23, had been in so many Christmas programs you'd think I'd understood it, but I didn't.

All of the sudden, that year when I sang Christmas carols, I fell in love with a savior. I understood that we weren't just singing cheery songs, as I previously thought, but they were love songs to a Savior. And, it changed my perspective on Christmas.

Today as I sang Christmas songs, I felt that again. I felt as if I was drawing nearer to Jesus. Nearer to a Savior that came and died for me, He died for me before I was even born. He died for me, knowing that I would make mistakes this side of Heaven, and love me UNCONDITIONALLY, and WHOLEHEARTEDLY.

Within that, I had several deep encounters with God today. Which I seriously needed. I've been weary. I have been trying to be strong in the Lord, and have fallen short in several ways lately that I'm not proud of.

The amazing thing is that He is faithful. Even in my weakness, He loves me in a way I could never earn.

There's a chorus that we sometimes sing at IHOP-KC that often pierces my heart:

You owe me nothing
And I deserve Hell
You owe me nothing
Yet You've given me mercy...

That is the depth of our Saviour.

A Savior that wasn't necessarily born on December 25th, but definitely a birth worth celebrating.

Every year since I've been saved, I have taken time on December 25 to Thank God for all He's done, and I have actually said Happy Birthday to Jesus. *grin*

And, I will do that every year until I am in Heaven where I can tell him in face-to-face.

*grin*
Life.
Is.
AMAZING with a Savior who loves us all!

Connections

The highlight of my day today was talking to CPKid. CPKid is the same boy I told you about the other night. Today at the end of the day, he came over by my desk at the end of the day. CPKid enjoys torturing my para and I, as he pretends he's about to fall, but doesn't. He grins so big that it just melts my heart, even though it scares me at the same time!

Today he stood there and showed me how his leg shakes if it's in a certain position. I stopped and looked at it, and told him that mine does the same thing! I thought it was just me that had that happen! He grinned when I shared about that. While it wasn't anything deep like the other day, it made me pause and think. Even at the age of 37, I'm learning that I'm not the only one that has certain things happen due to the CP. And while the CP isn't all there is to me (obviously) it makes me realize that I'm not alone in this particular journey.

Kinda cool if you ask me!

*grin*

Life.
Is.
Good.

A New Book!

At my school we're doing Secret Santa's among our staff, and we're all having SO MUCH FUN giving each other gifts. We entered in our wish lift on the web, and the person who has my name is doing a GREAT job of spoiling me! Today I received my favorite gift so far, A NEW BOOK TO READ! I am like a little kid that can't wait until break so I can start the book. (I have one to finish before I can start it!)

How cool is that? *grin*

Life.
Is.
Spiffy!!!

The Limp

I will openly admit that there are days (Granted, few and far between but still...) when I tell God I would like one day without the limp. Overall though, I know He chose me because He knew I could handle it. And, I do. Truthfully, I feel I do pretty well. I often tell people that God made me like this so I could help others like me. Today, that was true.

I found out earlier this week that a student in my building that has CP like me told his class he wished there was an operation to make his legs work right. My heart leapt for the kid. Sure, yours probably leapt too, as you read that. But, for me, it hit down deep. I started to pray off and on about it.

Today we wound up with about 5 minutes to spare before he had to go to his bus, so I moved over and talked to him about the CP. We really haven't talked about it a whole lot, so I wanted him to have an open door to share. While he didn't share today (And I didn't expect him to.) I could tell he appreciated the chat. It was the highlight of my year so far in my building.

I believe that God created me with a limp so He could use my voice to talk into this kid's life today. I truly believe that. I also know he isn't the only one with CP that I'm supposed to support. I mean, sure, I'm created to be here for all my students. But, when you have a physical disability, it helps to have someone else to talk to about it. (I honestly didn't, and wish I had.)

In the future, I hope he will talk to me about it if he wants/needs to. If not, I know that God had today in mind when He created me. And that makes ALL the difference in the world. I will remind myself of today on the days I feel down about the limp. I walked away from school today smiling, because I knew I was made for today, all because of my limp.

*grin*
Life.
Is.
Good!

Self Control

There are days that I really ponder my little people. I have two boys who seriously struggle with self control. They don't come to me because of that, they come to me for academics. I have gone back and forth on how to deal with the two little people. I have the two boys sitting across from each other in my reading group, and everyday I debate about separating them. They are able to be managed because they're in close proximity of me, so I give them a new start everyday. Some days I'm worn out by the time they leave, but my thought is, "How can they learn self control if they don't practice?" It's a tough thing to juggle as a teacher.

Today we had an assembly. It was the first one I have attended with my own little people. Usually they go with their classes, but I wanted to have them clear up until the assembly so I told the teachers I would take them to the assembly and they would sit with me.

We lined up in my classroom and I said, "If I have to move anyone, you will be in big trouble." When they asked what kind of trouble I said BIG. I followed with, "Let's just say you don't want to know how big BIG is!" Since they have had me for one year already, they knew I was serious.

We entered the gymatorium and I let the two boys sit by each other, fully expecting to have them move before the assembly ended. I kept an eye on them throughout the holiday assembly and they did a REALLY good job. Of course, they kept watching me to see if I was watching them, but they did GREAT. I was SO PROUD of them! Of course, I couldn't make a big deal out of it because that would not have worked! But, I was happy.

I walked away from them with one thought...I think giving the little people opportunities to practice self control is a good thing. It's kind of like driving a car, you can't learn unless you practice it.

Today I was proud of the little guys. REALLY PROUD!

*grin*
Life.
Is.
Good.

Funny For The Day!

This afternoon I was teaching my reading group, and I had a student that had some make-up work to complete because he was gone a lot last week. After teaching the whole group, I went over and showed him what to do on part of his workbook page.

On the page he had a fill-in-the-blank portion.

The sentence read: "I don't have any _______"
The answer to the fill-in-the-blank was "socks".
He wrote ON THE LINE, "I don't have any blanks."

Ha!

My para and I laughed for a moment, and then I said, "The answer is socks."

To which he replied, "How was I supposed to know that?"

And I said, "Didja read the story?"

He said, "nope."

Hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Love this gig.

*grin*
Life.
Is.
Good.

Bowling With Friends

Tonight we had our S.V.E. staff party. We met at the bowling alley and bowled for two hours. It was SO MUCH FUN! I think bowling is neat because everyone cheers each other on! Everyone had a great time, and A LOT of people came out! It was a lot of fun.

Due to the cold weather, my leg was incredibly stiff and bowling was rough-and-ugly for me at first. Sometimes it is frustrating because my mind is fine, but my legs can't move quite like they should! The GOOD news is that the longer we bowled, the better I did because my leg loosened up! The second game I came in second place! Of course, we only bowled about 6 frames that last game, but still. *grin*

Rockstarpara amazes me! I am blessed to have her in my life. She has become a dear friend to me, and tonight I was reminded of that again as she assisted me out to my car in the FREEZING cold. I am a blessed gal.

*grin*
Life.
Is.
Good.

Donorschoose.org

I was talking to my Mom tonight on the phone, and after talking to her it became very apparent that I didn't explain donorschoose.org very well last weekend. I shared about what Borders was doing, but not about what you can do TODAY to support ANY school you like!

See, you can go to donorschoose.org, and you find a project that you like, and you can donate for that classroom to get the supplies that they are asking for. You can give ANY amount! It's really cool!

I will admit, prior to the Borders promotion last weekend, I didn't know a thing about it. (I don't watch Oprah, but I guess donorschoose.org is one of her "favorite things.") After I heard of the promotion last week, I went in to the site, and proposed to get my classroom a projector so I can shine computer-created lessons up on the wall. It would also be useful with our district's CPS system. The next thing I want to propose for on the site is a SmartBoard. I learned last weekend that you have to ask for lower cost items first, and work your way up. *grin*

So, you're wondering, what happens when it's fully funded? Once that happens, they send it to me, along with a "Thank You" packet as well. It's up to my students and me to write thank you letters, and (With parental permission, of course.) take pictures of the kids saying "Thanks."

Yep. That's it. How cool is that?

So if you would like to give to my project (I've had 6 donations so far!) you can go to the site: http://www.donorschoose.org/shannon.springer

Honestly, if you don't want to give to mine, but find another project you want to give to, that is cool too. The donorschoose site said that on average teachers spend $40 per month on their classroom. Isn't that amazing?

Think about it. It's really fun to bless those around you!

*grin*
Life.
Is.
Good.

Sap

When I was in college, I was a resident assistant in one of the dorms. I loved it. Part of my job at that time was to build community within my floor of 18 girls. Over the course of three years, I earned the nickname "Queen Sap" because I LOVE sappy stuff. Any movie or TV show that has a sentimental moment I always say "AWWWWW". I did it then, and still do it today. Today when I checked my project page on donorschoose.org, I was in a meeting so I couldn't go "AWWWWWWWW" but I fought back tears and definitely said it in my head.

On the site people can donate to my school project that I've posted on donorschoose.org. I am hoping to get a projector, and eventually a SmartBoard, for my classroom. Well, on the site people can comment as to why they donated to my project. (And you should know that I didn't put that function in there, it's an automatic thing the page asks for.)

So you can imagine how deeply I was touched when I read this:
"I gave to this project because Mrs. S. does so much for my son. She is the reason he LOVES to read. Thank you Mrs. S. "

This was the SECOND best letter I have ever received in my teaching career. (The first place letter goes to a student I had about 6 years ago that wrote me a thank you note that said, "I will never forget you, because you were the one that taught me how to read.)

Here's the thing though, I don't do my job for kudos or anything like that. I do it because I care for the little people. And it's not that I didn't think that the family of today's comment didn't like me, because I TOTALLY know how supportive they are of me and what I'm doing with their son.

But sometimes God gives us kudos through people, just to remind us we're doing exactly what we're created to do.

And for me, today was my best day here in L.S. because I know I'm in the right place doing what I'm created to do!

Eleven years later, I'm still sappy. Go figure. *grin*

*grin*
LIfe.
Is.
AWESOME!

Vault, Part 3

Last night, I went to post the third (and last installment until January) installment of my Vault Story, and the internet was down! Yeah, you are glad you weren't here, as I was quite bummed about it! As you can tell, it's back up (Yea!) and I'm ready to share the most current installment. If you're just now joining the Vault Story, scroll down and read part one and two first!

I see the principal get my new teacher out of her class. Her name is Mrs. Welch. (It kind of reminds me of the Jelly Company.) She nods her head and welcomes me into the room. I hear my Mom explaining the Cerebral Palsy as I walk into the room. Everyone's eyes are on me, and my leg. I feel so nervous that I just want to cry, but I don't want to be known as the Cry Baby with Cerebral Palsy. So I just sit down and wait.

I sit down at the empty desk for what feels like forever. Everyone keeps staring at me and whispering. I can't hear them, but I think they're talking about me. Every time a new kid came to my old school, we talked about them. We were nice to the kids though, and I wonder if these kids will be nice to me.

Finally, Mrs. Welch comes in and starts teaching Math. She is showing us about vertices and angles, which seem to be easy. I understand what to do and even get called up to the board to do a problem. I did it right! As I walk back to my desk, I see the other kids staring at my leg. I don't think it's a big deal, but everyone is staring at me like it is a big deal. Or maybe it just feels like it, I'm not sure.

After Math, a bunch of kids line up to leave. What am I supposed to do? Do I stand up or do I stay put? I look around and notice that some kids are still sitting. Oh, we must switch for Math! Now I feel better about just staying put.

After the kids in line leave, other kids come in and put their stuff in their desks. Mrs. Welch tells the class that we have a new student in our class named Morgan. Once again, all eyes are on me. I smile at everyone.

*grin*
That's it! Stay tuned in January for Part 4!

Life.
Is.
Good.

Favorite HOUR Of The Week

Every week I look forward to Saturday Night because it's my church night. Yes, my church, Forerunner Christian Fellowship, does a Saturday Night Service. For some of you, that doesn't sound like fun, but for me it's how I gain perspective on various things throughout the past week and get fueled up for the upcoming week. We have our "service" from 6-9:30-ish. I thoroughly enjoy the first hour, as Misty Edwards leads worship. Misty has been one of my all-time favorite leaders for years. (And tonight's half hour acoustic set was AMAZING!) After praying for each other, and listening to the message, we have a concert of worship/the prayer room from 10-12.

From 10-ish until I leave about 11-ish, Matt Gilman leads worship. I will admit that that hour is my FAVORITE hour of my entire week. In that hour, I meet God EACH week. It's incredible, and in so many ways something that can't be described in words. As I walked out tonight I got to really thinking about what an amazing hour that was tonight, and it made me think about Heaven. Actually, my first thought as I walked outside was, "I want to live in that atmosphere!" My second thought was, "Wow, Heaven's going to be even more AMAZING than that!" *grin*

Life.
Is.
Amazing.

The Vault, Part 2

Last night I shared the first part of my story that I wrote during our 6th grade "Vault" Writing Time. Feel free to scroll down and read my post titled "The Vault" if you haven't already. This is the second installment in my story. I hope you enjoy it.

A lot of people stare at me when I walk because I walk with a limp. I had problems when I was born, and because of that my brain was affected. Some people say Cerebral Palsy is a form of Mental Retardation, but I am actually really smart. The Cerebral Palsy affects how I walk, and I look out of one eye at a time. I can read, write, and do math well. So, the Cerebral Palsy doesn't stop me at all.

At my old school, I wasn't different. I mean, I still had the limp, but the kids treated me as if I didn't walk differently. I played chase at recess and LOVE sports. I had a lot of friends and now I have to start all over. I sure hope I have a lot of friends here.

On my first day at North Oaks Elementary School, the principal seems really nice. She walks with my Mom and me to my new class. There are four classes in my grade, and she said we switch classes for some subjects. That makes me nervous because I don't like to switch classes. My Mom just grinned at me.

*Stay tuned tomorrow for the next installment. *grin*

Life.
Is.
Good.

Borders Supports Schools Through Website!

I have some exciting news to share with you tonight! (In addition to my story, of course! This is my SECOND post tonight, so PLEASE be sure to read the post below this one too!)

Borders is teaming up with donorschoose.org to help schools get supplies that they want/need. This coming Saturday and Sunday, December 4th and 5th, when you make a purchase at Borders, you will receive a gift card for you to go to Donorschoose.org and submit a $15 donation to your school FOR FREE! Well, okay, maybe not free, I mean you have to buy something at Borders to get the gift certificate. Just think about it though, you get a purchase at a great store, AND our school gets a donation as well! How cool is that?

Tonight I went onto donorschoose.org to see exactly what it is because I had never heard of it before. (Are you thinking that too? Go ahead, admit it, I won't tell! *grin*) At this site, teachers submit a proposal for supplies for their classrooms. After that, the teachers (It's teachers only by the way!) wait to see if/when the supplies are funded. After the supplies are funded, the supplies are shipped and the teacher and students of the classroom are required to send a Thank You Note to the donors. It's that easy! The website said that (on average) teachers spend $40 per month on school supplies. That's a lot of money each year!

So, go ahead, go to Borders and buy that spiffy new book you've been wanting, and donate $15 to our school! Also, if you purchase the book "Waiting for Superman, How We Can Save America's Schools" and you will receive an additional $15 gift card!

I GUARANTEE that your teachers will REALLY appreciate it!

*grin*
Life.
Is.
Good.

The Vault

In my school, the sixth graders do a really cool writing assignment. In October, the students were told to start a new story. Since it was an independent writing assignment, the student I was to be assisting at the time needed to write on his own. I decided I would do the assignment too. It has been YEARS since I just sat down and wrote a fictional story for fun. I had SO MUCH FUN writing! We wrote for a little while and then the students could share what they wrote. Afterward, the teacher collected them and put them in the "vault." One day in November, the stories were passed back out and we could add to the story. After we wrote our stories, we got in groups of two or three and did "Two Stars and a Wish." Well, okay, I call it that. The teacher called it something else that I can't remember right now. Basically, we tell each other two good things about the story, and one thing that we "wish" they would do with the story. It was the first time I had been at the receiving end of the activity, and I really enjoyed it. On the first day of December (earlier this week) we added to our stories again. It was GREAT. I also thought it was cool that when the kids found out that that day was "Vault" writing day, they were all excited.

Tonight I have decided to share my first part of the story that I wrote in October. It's based upon my life, but I put in fictional names. Over the next couple nights, I plan to share the whole thing. I hope you like it.

Hi. My name is Morgan. I am going to be in the fourth grade at North Oaks Elementary School in Austin, Texas. My family just moved here from Oklahoma. I didn't want to move here, but my Dad got a new job, so we had to move. I had a lot of friends in my old school, so I am nervous about being at my new school. I am nervous because I am a little different from everyone else. I was born with something called Cerebral Palsy.

*grin*
Life.
Is.
Good.

Gifts to Give All Year Long!

This time of year, I hear A LOT of people talking about gifts they want to give people. Tonight as I was pondering what to write, and I came across a list of gifts you can give ALL YEAR LONG! And you know what? Most of them are easy and FREE! Some may cost money, but the best gifts are those from the heart, not the wallet! Read through the list, and think about the people in your life. Some ideas are taken out of Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Fourth Course. But, I added quite a few of my own!

1. Smile
2. Provide a shoulder to lean on.
3. Say "Thank You" and mean it.
4. Pat someone on the back.
5. Send a Thank You Card to an old teacher.
6. Plan a surprise phone call.
7. Say "Good Morning" even if it isn't.
8. Wash the dishes when it's not your turn.
9. Empty the trash when it's not your turn.
10. Send an unexpected text message to someone you love.
11. Ignore a rude remark.
12. Take Grandma or Grandpa to lunch.
13. Send a "Thinking of You" card.
14. Pass on some GOOD news. Don't pass on gossip.
15. Lend someone a favorite book, and don't ask for it back.
16. Return someone's favorite book.
17. Help someone figure out a solution instead of just giving advice.
18. Visit an elderly person.
19. Clean the house for Mom and Dad.
20. Share a Dream.
21. Let someone ahead of you in line.
22. Say please.
23. Say yes when you'd rather say no.
24. Spread a little joy.
25. Do a kind deed anonymously.
26. Share your umbrella.
27. Say I love you, and say it often.
28. Think things through.
29. Listen.
30. Lighten up. Find the funny side of a situation.
31. Walk your dog.
32. Be a friend.
33. Be optimistic.
34. Be real.
35. Always do your best.
36. Love to the best of your ability.
37. Look for the best in everyone everyday.
38. Take someone on a surprise outing.
39. Read with someone.
40. Allow people to make innocent mistakes.
41. Sit and talk with a friend.
42. Watch a movie with a loved one.
43. Send an email to an old friend.
44. Say "I'm sorry" when you're wrong.
45. Tell someone that you believe in them.
46. Encourage others to love others.
47. Take a walk with a friend.
48. Frame a picture that you made.
49. Cuddle with your dog.
50. Tell your parents how cool you really think they are!
51. Take a second and tell your siblings that they are cool. (sometimes)

I am contemplating others, but I honestly have a book I want to go read before I crash!

Have a GREAT night!

*grin*
Life.
Is.
Good.