CP, Roller Skates, and a Gym

I am always in awe of God when He uses me and I don't even know it! Today God used my limp to help two people and I wasn't even there. You're thinking "Huh?" Let me set it up for you...

At my school the upper grades are just finishing a Roller Skating Unit in P.E. Yeah, they got to skate in P.E.!!! (I wish I could have done that in school!) Anyway, one day last week I went in to skate during P.E. because one of my sixth graders requested me to come skate. Honestly, I love to skate, but will admit I'm not very good at it. Having one foot that turns inward when I walk kind of slows me down a little. *grin*

Anyway, I went in last week and skated for about 15 minutes, at T.J.'s request. T.J. was INCREDIBLY helpful and encouraging as I skated around the gym. I could tell it really mattered to him that I came in to skate.

At first I skated on the carpet because it's been a WHILE since I've been on skates. After moving around on the carpet for a little while, I went around the gym once where there wasn't carpet. I fell a couple of times, but I really worked at it and had a lot of fun. By the second time around I was barely hanging onto the wall, and kind of got to where I could skate by moving my right foot out. Honestly, I think it was the best I've ever done!!! I LOVED it! I would have kept skating but I had a class to get to. I will state that all the kids were REALLY supportive of my skating and told me so as I was leaving. It was a blessing!

Today I sat down at lunch and the P.E. Teacher sat down by me. I like our P.E. Teacher, she's really nice. She proceeded to tell me she used me as an example today in P.E. Apparently there were two sixth grade boys who were nervous about leaving the carpeted area. She told them about me going in and skating around the gym without the carpet, and that if I could do it with a limp, then they could do it! You know what? The kids GOT OFF THE CARPET!!! I was SO EXCITED to hear that! One boy in particular went around the gym TWICE after hearing that! How cool is that? I was so PUMPED to hear that!!!

Over and over again I am reminded that the limp is a blessing. For years I have been frustrated because so many people think the limp is a bad thing. It's NOT! Having CP is COOL and what's even cooler is that God is using it to bless those around me, even when I'm not there! PRAISE THE LORD! I'm so so so so so so excited for the boys who finally got to skate around the gym today instead of just on the carpet! Who knows, maybe this will be a hobby that they will enjoy throughout life. Even if it's not, there are two boys who thought they COULDN'T do something when in reality THEY COULD! *grin*

That's what I'm talkin' about! PRAISE THE LORD!

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
AMAZING!!!

Not Sure What To Think....

I keep checking The Weather Channel on my phone, and it sounds like quite a storm is headed our way. I know it's cold out, that's for sure, because Jay and I just got back from our walk a little while ago. It was COLD but I wanted to let him walk because I wasn't sure if we would get to walk again for a while. (I don't walk when they're massive snow and ice on our sidewalks.) Yesterday I went and got food stocked up just in case it should get so bad that I can't leave my house.

Speaking of which, I'm not really sure what to think about the possibility of more Snow Days. On one hand, I love the idea of sleeping in, cuddling with Jay, and relaxing. The only problem with that is we're already going to school into late May.

Ultimately though, I want everyone safe. So, if that means a Snow Day, I'm all for it.

I will admit, it feels odd to feel odd about a Snow Day. REALLY odd.

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
SPIFFY.

Amazed

I sit here tonight absolutely amazed at God. I went to FCF late tonight because I spent some time with family this evening, and I walked in during Mike's sermon. Now, I will admit that when I walked in and saw that they were still in the sermon time, I was a bit bummed because I just wanted to soak tonight. HOWEVER, God knew exactly what I needed and for the FOURTH weekend in a row, gave me a sermon that spoke volumes to me. Once again, it wasn't all just new to me, but A LOT of it was what I have been praying about this week. I mean, literally, THIS WEEK I had been praying about some things and tonight God gave me SO MANY confirmations on the things I've been pondering and praying. I LOVE THAT! After the sermon, I got to soak. *grin*

AMAZING.

*grin*
LIfe.
Is.
AMAZING!!!

ANOTHER CARD!!!

Earlier this week I posted about a really special card that I received in the mail that made me happy. Today I got another card that made me laugh over and over again. It didn't come in the mail, it was actually on my desk this morning when I came in from Car Rider Duty.

It was actually a Thank You Card from the boy I posted about last night, C.J., and his sister, Cheergal. Today's HAND-WRITTEN card was thanking me for the Christmas Gifts I gave them. Cheergal wrote a really sweet note, and said she wants to play Wii with me again soon. I thought that was sweet. What C.J. wrote just made me laugh every time I read it.

He wrote: "Thanks for Lord. I love the mummy book! To C.J. To You. God bless in you. C.J. You have a power in you God bless you."

How cool is that? I LOVED it!!!

You know, you wouldn't think that something as a card would bless someone that much, but for me it has been worth more than money to me. ABSOLUTELY priceless! *grin*

Two cards in one week! AMAZING!!!

*grin*
Life.
Is.
SPIFFY!

Oh, dear...

Where has the time gone?? I haven't posted in over a month, and I've been missing my little blogging corner.

In my defense, I avoided anything teacher-related over winter break. I needed me time, and I got it. By the end of the break, I was bored to tears...sixteen days with nothing to do will do that to an antsy person like me, I suppose. After doing nothing for over two weeks, I've been busy, busy, busy since school started back up.

I'm taking a break from grading freshman essays. These kids don't proofread!! And many of them don't know the difference between an argumentative essay and a summary...despite the fact that I explained it in about twelve different ways and showed them the difference. But what can a little English teacher do?? Make them re-write it!!

As I was reading through a batch of them yesterday, I noticed a line in one that simply didn't sound like a student wrote it...especially a freshman student. It was so insightful that I'm not even sure if I could accomplish such a beautiful line. So, I started scanning the rest of his essay. On doing this, I noted that he'd cited quotations by line...the version of the play we read didn't have line numbers...interesting. Needless to say, I Googled his essay, and oddly enough, I found it...nearly word-for-word on an essay site. Strange. Busted!!
Tomorrow morning I'm going to ask him to explain the line to me...see if he can do it.

I've got so much more to say, but I have to read all the blogging I've missed in my absence from blog world...and I suppose I should get back to my essays. The red pen is calling. (I don't care how detrimental it is to their little egos...I like red!!)

p.s. If you can't tell, I've had entirely too much coffee. If I was speaking to you, I'd be talking 100 miles a minute...

Is that like Karl Marx?

I decided to use an old Groucho Marx bit to demonstrate subtext to my sophomores doing Julius Caesar. I don't remember where I got the idea, but I used a bit from Animal Crackers where Groucho has two women fighting over him. From the scene, you can't tell whether or not he likes either of the women; until, he says to the women, "Pardon me while I have a strange interlude." He steps forward and rants about how he can't stand either woman.
After I showed the bit, the kids and I discussed the "strange interlude" and what it meant. We discussed other times where if we took a "strange interlude," we'd reveal something that isn't obvious from what we're saying. I then divided them up into groups and gave them scenarios--a first date that isn't going very well, bringing someone home to meet the parents, parent/teacher conferences--and asked them to act them out, including their own strange interlude. I gave them five minutes or so to get a general idea of what they were doing, and I gave help to those groups who were struggling. Then they performed their small skit for the class.
Let me tell you, they were hysterical!! I had a group of all boys on the "first date." They were my best group...one boy (the boy on the date) pretended to check out the waitress. The "girl" made a comment about her being cute, then had a strange interlude where she called him a pig. We couldn't stop laughing.
I then tied the strange interlude idea into "subtext." I told the kids that they're essentially the same thing in the context of Shakespeare. We discussed some places in the play where subtext played a huge role. Then I had them find five places in Act III, Scene 1 where understanding subtext is essential to understanding the scene. They then had to write the "strange interlude" each character would have.

My second class I did the lesson with was still a bit fuzzy on what subtext was. We had to go through and discuss several examples of it. They couldn't quite wrap their brain around the idea of getting inside a character's head, so we had to do a mini-lesson on characterization and motivation. I'm still not sure if they understood it, but I suppose I'll see when I collect their assignments this morning.

Overall, I really liked doing this lesson, and I think the kids did too. It was something different, which was nice for both of us. I'm tired of doing line-by-line explanations of Shakey.

Now, does anyone have any suggestions on how to wean them off of the "American" Shakespeare? They still try to sneak it out during class and quizzes. It's irritating as all get out.

SMILES

Have you ever had someone tell you something, and even after a day, or a week, it still brought a smile to your face? If you haven't, I feel bad for you, because it's a really cool feeling. I have had one of those that has lasted for a couple weeks, and I think it will continue to make me smile.

My para has a son with Down's. C.J. is an incredibly neat young man. I have seen a couple movies with him and my para, and they have come over to play Wii before. C.J. even attended Camp Barnabas during Term 7 last Summer, the same time I was there. It was really cool!

Recently RockStarPara invited me to see a Chris Tomlin concert in March with them. I was very excited about the being invited, and I am REALLY looking forward to the concert. It will be a good time.

RockStarPara told me that earlier this week she was talking to C.J. about the concert, and C.J. started calling me "ShannonCampBarnabas." That just made me grin ear-to-ear. She said he had called me that before in conversation but now it's an official nickname around her house. I have to admit, that made me REALLY happy.

Every once in a while I think about it and smile. The amazing part is that I haven't actually heard C.J. call me that, but because I have been around him a few times, I can hear him say it. And that is absolutely PRICELESS to me!

I love it when God does that. He just drops a little blessing in our lives that is unexpected, and it costs nothing but is so absolutely special to us. I know for me, ShannonCampBarnabas is incredibly cool to me, and only God knew how cool that would be to me.

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!

THE MAILBOX

Today I had a really mixed day and wasn't really sure what to make of it. It wasn't horrible, but it had a few rough spots that left me scratching my head. Honestly, it's the first weird day that I've had like this in a long time, so I am blessed. Some people wrestle everyday, and I don't. *grin*

Anyway, after I came home and let Jay out, I went to the mailbox. In the mailbox was a card from a friend in Joplin. January is fun for me because I send Christmas Cards out in December, and I usually get about 8 or 10 cards from people in January. Today I received an unexpected card.

The card came from a teacher friend in Joplin, and it was hand-written. That always blesses me when people take time to HAND WRITE a card. I also found it sweet that she made note on it that she wrote it on a Snow Day! The letter itself was incredible, but she also included a picture of her son as well. Her son, named Connor, was one of my favorite kids at school. He wasn't in my program, but would come by after school every once in a while and we would talk about BASKETBALL. Connor is a really neat person and I even went to a couple of his basketball games when he was in Elementary School. It was really special to me. I went to a baseball game of his too, now that I think about it. Connor was a really neat kid, and I have prayed off and on for him over the years. He was really special to me.

Tonight when I read the card, it said that he is doing well and playing basketball right now at school. I can't tell you how excited I was to hear that! I'm not surprised, it just made me smile when I read that. After reading the card and seeing the picture of Connor, my weird day seemed like nothing at all.

All because of what I found at the mailbox.

I love it.

LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

Me...

I believe in God.
God gave me a heart for kids.
Pepsi is my favorite drink.
I attend IHOP-KC.
My favorite color is blue.
I drive shuttles on Sunday Mornings.
I only listen to Christian Music.
Praise and Worship music is my favorite.
I have a dog named Jay.
PLAIN M&M's are my favorite candy.
I drive a manual transmission car.
I am human, and sometimes make mistakes.
I believe having CP is COOL!!!
I LOVE Camp Barnabas.
People matter to me.
I know over 200 words in ASL.
I believe in true love.
I love to wear windpants and hoodies.
I love to read.
I buy a new pair of Nike shoes every other month because I wear them out.
KU Jayhawks are my favorite basketball team.
I'm affectionate.
My favorite movie of all-time is Finding Nemo.
I strive to be a voice and not an echo.
I believe in second chances.
I walk Jay daily when the weather is good.
I am not a quitter.
I walk with a limp.
I believe in God.

Improvement

Tonight it was difficult to to decide what to write about. I had a really good day and it was hard to choose just one thing to write about. After giving it some thought, I was reminded of one of my student's reactions today.

This time of year we are in the middle of reading assessments. The assessment tool that my district uses is pretty time consuming but gives really good information on each of my students reading progress. I like seeing what kind of improvement my students make from each testing window to the next on this assessment.

The students, on the other hand, do not enjoy this process. Some of them don't mind, but I have SEVERAL that just want to be "done." Meaning, they don't care what the test says, they just want to be done so they can move on to something else. ANYTHING else. *grin*

One of those students is TOUGH to motivate. On Friday we did an assessment and I graded it before the end of the day, and the student passed the level so I emailed the parents of the student. I showed the student the email I sent and the response I got back before he left my classroom. After that the kid left my room, skipping!

Today we did the next level of the reading assessment, and I could tell that the student REALLY worked hard and wanted to go on to the next level of the assessment. When the student was done, I did my whole-group lesson with the students.

After teaching the group and getting the students to work on their independent work, I sat down and graded the assessment. THE STUDENT PASSED!!! I was so excited, but I know that with this student it's better to keep it low-key. I turned to the student and mouthed the words, "you passed" and then I saw a little fist pump and a grin.

Then the student asked me if I was going to email the parental unit again, and wanted to know what I was going to say. I invited the student over to my desk as I wrote the email. I was sure to end with "I'm so so so so so so so so so so proud!" The kid grinned ear-to-ear! It was GREAT!

It really has made me think a lot about how we're all a work-in-progress. The kid was SO excited at the end of class that it just made ME happy! The thing about it all is that I've always known that the kid was capable of it. The student just didn't know it! Honestly, I predict the student will go up two more levels before reaching the ceiling. It wasn't new to me, but it was new to the kid.

I think that's how we are with God. God always knows what we will do, what we believe we can't do, and everything else in between. And, just like with this kid today, God is patient and strategic in dealing with us as His kids. I know that I strive each day to live before His eyes, wanting to be pleasing to Him. I also know that when I mess up, He knows that and loves me unconditionally. *grin*

I also think He enjoys us while we are in the "Improvement" process. I know that I CAN'T WAIT to see what my student does tomorrow, and the excitement that will come with the grading of the assessment. Regardless of the outcome, I am proud of the kid for the effort he has given so far. Just as I know that God is proud of me!

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

ugh...worst. blogger. ever.

Yes, it's been a month...Is it obvious that school is back in session?

I'm attempting to teach Julius Caesar right now, and with one class I feel like I'm asking them to rip their teeth out. They're hating every minute of it and are letting me know it.

The class isn't my best behaved class, and they aren't my most hard working class...and many of them had a teacher last year who gave them the "Americanized" Romeo and Juliet and told them that reading Shakespeare is "stupid"...which they've pointed out to me a couple of times. I would say that they've shut down on me, but I don't know that the ignition was ever on. (Like that analogy?) I'm really trying to be patient with them, but it's becoming difficult. We're in Act III, and they won't even attempt to read it. All I hear is, "I don't get it. This is stupid."

I sat down with the reading specialist after school today to brainstorm some strategies for opening up their minds (without giving them the American Shakey). It's funny how talking to someone else will help to create ideas. We started discussing what I wanted, and the ideas just kept flying out of my head...it was great.

I don't know how much my kids will appreciate it, but I'm excited to try some new things tomorrow.

Fans

Yesterday I went and watched a few of the students from my school play basketball. I try and go whenever I can to watch the basketball games. Yesterday I was blessed because there were three kids from my school playing in the same game. Not all of them are in my program, but that doesn't matter to me. I always like to support ALL of the kids whenever I can.

One of them in particular, OHK, is one that I support whenever I can, as he holds a special place in my heart. I have gone to several basketball games this season to encourage him. In fact, a few weeks ago when I went, he scored a basket! It was GREAT!

After watching the kids play ball yesterday I came home and hung out with the furry kid. We watched KU lose, and poor Jay didn't know what was up with me! *grin* Later in the afternoon I got a message from OHK's Mom stating that OHK said that "Ms. Springer is my biggest fan."

That made me *grin* ear-to-ear!!!

Today as I drove shuttles I pondered that.

So much of teaching is simply putting my best foot forward and praying that it sticks. Most of the time that emphasis is on the academics, but every once in a while it's to build a student's self esteem or encourage them in things not related to school. I enjoy that.

So yesterday when I got the message, it sent me a message.

The kid knows he has someone outside of his family rooting for him, cheering him on. The coolest part is that this is only the beginning of the great things he'll do in life! And I plan to cheer him on for as long as I'm invited!!! *grin*

Everyone needs a fan, or two, or three. For OHK, I'm one that will be on the sidelines for YEARS to come!

*grin*
Life.
Is.
GREAT!

AMAZING!!!

For the THIRD week in a row, God blessed me with a sermon that I LOVED! As I have shared the past two weekends, I had been praying for a season of sermons that would minister to me. Prior to Onething, I was somewhat struggling because God wasn't meeting me during sermon times at FCF. It wasn't that the sermons were bad, they just weren't for "me". I know, I know, life isn't always about me (obviously) but I was missing having God pierce my heart during the Word. Since Onething, every sermon I have heard has ministered to me in one way or another, and I am SO happy about that!

Tonight Dana Candler brought the Word, and although it wasn't so much for me, it was A LOT of confirmation on some things I have been pondering and praying about. I love it when God does that, when you've been pondering specific things and then He brings it forth in a sermon and solidifies what you already came to in your quiet time!!! I LOVE IT!

Ministry time was fun too because I got to pray for a lot of people, and I LOVE that! It especially blessed me when someone pulled me over and asked me to pray for them. I absolutely LOVE that! *grin*

God is AMAZING!!! Sermon time...worship time...prayer time. It was all GREAT! *grin*

LIfe.
Is.
AMAZING!!!

Shout Out to the Road Crews!!!

THE SNOW IS BEAUTIFUL!!!

In light of all the Snowy weather, I have watched a lot more news. I try to watch The National News nightly, as that was a nightly routine in my house as a kid. I have definitely carried that into my adult life. I usually turn the channel to be entertained at 6, but when weather is questionable, I tune in as soon as possible.

Tonight I watched the news and people were complaining about how slow the road crews were working to get roads cleared. I was amazed. Perhaps I'm just blessed in this area, but we have had crews down my street fairly regularly. And honestly even if it took a little while, that's okay because no one HAS to go anywhere. I was taught by my Dad that there is absolutely nowhere we have to go. EVER. So, if you need to wait, that's okay. Just feel blessed you have a home to stay warm in while you wait.

So, tonight I want to say "Thanks" to those who work hard to keep our roads as clear as possible as soon as they can. I heard on KMBC that some crews will be called in and will be running on empty due to lack of sleep. I can only imagine! They will be back at work Saturday Night for the next round. THANK YOU ROAD CREW DRIVERS!

While Wes probably won't read this, I want to do a SHOUT OUT to Wes as well. Wes is the Handy Man who works for the Town Homes that I live in. Wes is in charge of snow removal on ALL the Town Homes and he is VERY efficient in the job! THANKS WES!

Finally, there is a boy who came by the other night and shoveled my driveway and walkway. Bailey you rock!!! THANK YOU!

Once again I am reminded about perspective. Some people think about the road crews and complain. I think about it and think, "Thanks, I really appreciate what you do!" *grin* No, they're not perfect, and I know they make mistakes, but I will admit, that's a job I wouldn't want to do!

THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HELPS WITH SNOW REMOVAL!!! You're gonna be popular the next few days!

*grin*
Life.
Is.
GREAT.

It's Just a Tree

I took my tree down today. It has been a project that I have been avoiding for weeks. Christmas has been over for almost a month, and yet I liked having the tree here in my living room. It was cheery and reminded me of Christmas, a season of Love and Giving, so I didn't want to put it up.

So I began my day by relaxing, but I kept looking at the tree. I knew today was the day to take it down. I just didn't want to do it.

I watched TV, played video games, surfed the web, and took Jay out in the snow. When I was out in the snow I knew I was avoiding taking down the tree. So, we came in, I looked at Jay, and took it down.

While I was taking it down, I had three friends text me during that time. That made it a little more fun. Not a whole lot, but it broke up the feeling of sadness that went with taking the tree down.

Now it's put away and I keep looking at the area where the tree was at. It seems so empty.

It has made me think about people without Christ. Or those claiming to be with Christ, but struggling to live out the life we're called to live this side of heaven. I mean, a tree is just a tree. But, if you fill it with decorations from loved ones, it becomes something special. Just as accepting Christ makes life something special.

Maybe I'm being too deep here. That's always possible.

But, if it had been a tree that wasn't decorated, I wouldn't have kept it up so long.

I have also had the thought that if it weren't for Christ in my life, I wouldn't be the same person I am today.

So, I guess it was just a tree...it just seemed like more than that to me.

*grin*
Life.
Is.
GREAT.

Today I Expected It!

Today we were back in the classroom, and it felt good to be with the little people again. All the kids were good, and anticipating another day off tomorrow due to a large storm that has moved through the area. They got what they were hoping for, and honestly I'm glad we're off tomorrow too.

At about 4:30 today all the teachers were dashing for their cars, wiping snow off the windshields, and hurrying to get home before even more snow fell to the ground. It was the first time in a while that I have driven in weather like today's and honestly I am not in any mood to drive in it anytime soon. I wasn't freaked out or anything, but I was going REALLY slow on the drive home. In fact, my ten minute drive was about 25 minutes. But, that was fine because I arrived home safely.

After getting Jay and I relaxed a bit, I hopped online to do my watch for a Snow Day Notice. Sure enough, it came not too long after I started watching for it!!! The weatherman noted that at one point we were getting an inch of snow each hour. I'll be interested to see how many inches we have total tomorrow after the storm passes through.

I'm just glad everyone is safe. As I stated yesterday, that's what I really care about, and especially after driving home today, it's even more of a focus for me. Everyone safe at home, I love that idea!

Tomorrow's schedule: sleep, DVR shows, Mario Wii, play with Jay in the snow, and reading a book or two.

I LOVE SNOW DAYS!

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

Well, That Was Unexpected...

I got up at 5 a.m. today to use the restroom and looked outside. It looked fine and I resigned myself to having to go to school today. The weatherman said the bad weather would move in around 5, but it looked fine. Honestly, I was okay with it because I have Reading Assessments to do with some of my favorite little people by a certain date, and the only way I'm going to get them done is by going to school. So, I went back to sleep.

Around 6:20ish my phone rang. I was in such a deep sleep that I heard the message, but I didn't believe it. My thoughts were along the lines of, "Was that a dream? What? School's out? Huh?" I looked at Jay. He just looked at me, not knowing what was up. I looked outside, and it looked fine. I decided to turn on the T.V. and check it out. Sure enough, at the bottom of the screen they were rolling school closings.

My next thought was along the lines of, "Crud, I'm never going to get DRA's done!" Then I paused, looked at Jay, and thought, "I get to hang out with Jay today!"

Then I went back to sleep.

Later on when I woke up, I saw that they decided to cancel school because of freezing drizzle. I really thought about it, and am glad that my district takes the safety of everyone into consideration. I realize that in May many people will be wishing that we were out earlier but to me it's worth it if it means people are safe today. I truly believe that. Yes, I enjoy snow days, but I care more about everyone's safety, believe it or not.

I also realize that in May a lot of people will be complaining about making days up. I'm going to set a goal not to do that. I mean, it seems to me that either way people complain. If we don't get out due to bad weather, people complain. If we do get out, a lot of people complain in May.

Life's too short to complain, I think. I hope in May I'm able to stay true to those words. *grin*

For tonight, three of my favorite shows are on and I don't have any homework to do. I think I'll cuddle with Jay-boy!

*grin*
Life.
Is.
SPIFFY!

IT'S OFFICIAL!!!

Since leaving Camp Barnabas in August, I have been praying that I would get to return for the same Terms this Summer. (Term=Week in Barnabas lingo!) Last Summer I served during the Autism/Developmentally Delayed Term, and the Deaf/Blind Term. I left there absolutely changed, and even on my drive home started praying for this Summer!

On the FIRST day that applications were supposed to be up and running, I was online looking for it! I started an application, then there were technical difficulties with the site, so I couldn't apply. Then I got busy with school, and kept thinking, "I need to get that done!" Over Christmas Break, I finally got everything together and sent in, and prayed. I mean, I never stopped praying over it, but the week I sent it all in, I really prayed, as the site said that 75% of all positions had been filled already. While it is true that I could serve any Term this coming Summer, my heart for the Term 6 and 7 girls is so big that I REALLY wanted those two weeks.

On Friday I had an email from the Volunteer Coordinator, Robbie. He said he was going to get me into the Terms I wanted, but my application was incomplete. He encouraged me to call today, and I did. He talked me through a couple of things and everything was done!

I hung up and thought, "Crud, I didn't ask if I was officially in those Terms, I was just told my application was in." I didn't want to advertise that I got the Terms if it wasn't official. So, I emailed Robbie this afternoon and asked.

The response I got was the official letter, as well as an email saying I was stuck with them Terms 6 and 7! I grinned ear-to-ear!

So, you might say I'm a little excited. *grin*

Life.
Is.
GREAT!!!

Shuttle Fun!!!

This morning I drove shuttles and had a lot of fun! We were SUPER busy, which is when it is really fun! I always joke and say that I feel popular when there are lines waiting! In fact, we had TWO of us driving the Overflow Lot! It was amazing!

At one point, a gal named Madeline got on my shuttle and sat up front with me. She had a ton of questions because she had never joined us for a service at IHOP-KC before. I love it when I get a new person at IHOP-KC because they are always so excited! It was a short ride to service, but I was so excited for her, and couldn't wait to see her after the service!

When she came out of service, she got in my shuttle and said, "Is it always this good?" We wound up talking even after we arrived back at the parking lot. I prayed for her before she left the shuttle. I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE HER AGAIN!

On a funny note, I was playing the Jon Thurlow CD in the shuttle this morning. (Same trip as the one with Madeline.) As I was busy talking to Madeline, my other shuttle passengers were getting off the shuttle and Jon Thurlow and his wife Kinsey said good-bye to me. (I never saw him get on because of Madeline!) I grinned and said something about him being on the shuttle with his CD playing. He and Kinsey just grinned.

I love this place!

*grin*
Life.
Is.
GREAT.

Challenged!!!

Last Sunday I posted about praying for sermons that minister to me. In case you didn't read it, let me sum it up for you. I have been in a season where I have gotten more out of the worship time than sermons. Which is fine, God meets us right where we're at, but I had been praying for some sermons that would minister to me. Last Sunday, Regina preached the Word and a lot of it was right where I'm at. I loved that! Tonight Allen Hood preached the Word and I LOVED IT!

The thing I love about Allen's preaching is that he challenges me to think outside what I have read in the Bible. To take the Word and really meditate on it. There were several things that I think I'll be chewing on for the next few weeks to come. The thing about hearing Allen preach (for me) is that I walk away challenged in the Lord. I'm also ALWAYS closer to the Lord by the end of his messages. Tonight though, I was REALLY challenged. And I loved it!

Thank You God!

*grin*
Life.
Is.
Great.

What Would You Do?

Every once in a while, I watch the show What Would You do on TV. If you're unfamiliar with it, let me fill you in. It's a news magazine show in which they set up situations with actors and see how people react. I will admit, this isn't one of my absolute favorite shows, but if I am home and it's on, I watch it. It is interesting to me to see what real people do, or in some cases, do not do.

Tonight one of the cases showed someone shoplifting and they wanted to see how many people would report it. I watched and then thought, "I have been in that situation, and I told an employee, and it didn't do any good!" Of course, their point was to get people to be strong enough to stand up for what is right and tell.

The longer I watched it, the more frustrated I got because when I told an someone at Wal-Mart, I was told, "We can't accuse anyone of stealing." (I've blogged about that situation already, just trying to bring everyone up to speed.) I even went in and talked to the manager later, who said the same thing. Hum...I was frustrated and mad at the time, and I felt that again tonight.

After my initial thoughts subsided, I started thinking about it. I was mad then and tonight simply because it seemed as if my words didn't matter. I stood up for what is right, and it wasn't heard.

But, then it hit me. God saw that. God knew the intent of my heart. God knew what I experienced.

The being said, I shouldn't care whether or not it was heard by man in Wal-Mart. The audience of One heard it. And, He was pleased by it, I'm sure of that! It reminded me that even though sometimes what we do isn't accepted by man, there is a God who is watching, and pleased with every little attempt we make. I think that inspires me more than anything to continue to do what's right, even if it's not received by man here on Earth.

I like that.

By the way, in the situation where I reported the incident at Wal-Mart, it occurred when someone was doing the Self-Check registers. Since then, the self-check registers have all been taken out and replaced by Express Lanes run by employees. I guess they figured out how much they were losing by people beating the system. In a weird kind of way, I was happy about that. And every time I walk by the register where it took place, I smile.

Seems like eventually they got the message.

*grin*
Life.
Is.
SPIFFY.

Shhhhhhh, This is a Secret!

Don't tell anyone this. Seriously. You can't tell anyone. Are you ready?

It was actually good to be back at school today! Can you believe that? I just said that! The gal who prayed for Snow Days, did the happy dance each night the call came in, was actually glad to be back at work!

Truth be told, I missed the little people, and RockStarPara. I think deep down inside, I wasn't the only one.

That being said, tomorrow we have a Professional Development Day. A day with just adults. While that is harder than being with the kids in some respects, it will be fun because I will get to know people that I don't usually get to hang out with! I'm looking forward to it!

So, I missed the kids, and am looking forward to work tomorrow.

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! That's just between you and me, okay?

*grin*
Life.
Is.
FUN.

Loyalty

I have given a lot of thought today, on my THIRD Snow Day, to the loyalty Jay has for me. I can honestly say I've never had a friend as loyal as this little furry kid. While he did get in trouble for getting in the trash the other day, he really is a good dog. One of my favorite moments of my day is now, when he is laying on my legs, with his head resting on my feet. He has come SO FAR in handling the whole laptop situation. He used to pout, and sit away from me. I guess he's given up on the pouting business, and has decided to love on me, even if my attention is focused on here. Sometimes he positions himself so he can see my face, and then there are moments like right now when he is curled up asleep. He looks so adorable!

It has made me wonder if I love God as well as Jay loves me. I have really pondered that today. And you know what? I don't. I want to. I REALLY, REALLY want to, but I fall short daily.

Fortunately, I have Jay who reminds me daily of God's unconditional love. And, reminds me that nothing can separate me from His love.

For now, I'll keep learning from Jay. Seems to me there is a WHOLE LOT I can learn from this furry friend of mine!

*grin*
Life.
Is.
Good!

Snow Day #2

I have thoroughly enjoyed Snow Day #2, and I get another one tomorrow! I was surprised that they called it since I got out long enough to visit the Dentist today. The roads were slick, but I tend to think they called it due to the Wind Chill Factor. Regardless, I am glad to have one more day. Of course, I really would have been fine with working too. I mean, I do like the little people and have missed them. (Yes, I have, but don't tell them! *grin*)

My mind has thought about a lot of things today. I guess the thing I've thought abut the most has been the shooting event in Arizona. As far as I can recall, when an event like this has happened during my life, the person responsible has died in the attack. This is our first scenario where someone who committed the crimes has lived. (In my lifetime as an adult at least) I have wondered if the media is focusing too much on the young man responsible for the attack, and not enough on the victims, and ON THE HEROES!

There were heroes, did you know that? There were three people that were key in the drama. Sadly though, I can't name them. But I can name the gentleman responsible for the attack. Honestly, that bothers me. I guess that's life, but it doesn't make me feel any better about it, ya know?

I can recall that a nine-year old that died in the attack, born on 9/11. What are the odds of that? Seriously? Being born on 9/11 and dying in an attack like that. The odds must be astronomical. I'm sad to say, I can't recall her name either. I can picture her in my head, but can't tell you her name. Seems odd to me, ya know?

We live in a fallen world. With fallen people running the world. We're all fallen.

Seems to me that in the past few days it has made me recognize my need for Him in my life. This life is such a vapor, gone in a flash. For that nine-year-old, it ended too soon. I'm sure though that the people in her life will make sure she lives forever in their hearts. My prayer is that she is with the angels in Heaven, singing.

And of course, I would be missing it all if I didn't mention the congresswoman shot. I am glad that so many people have been lifting her up in prayer! She will survive. Rep. Gifford has some of the best doctors working on her, and is supported by a Nation. I have prayed for her too. I'm believing for her complete healing.

We live in a weird, weird world. And that's what I've been pondering today.

I'm praying for everyone in Arizona.

*grin*
Life.
Is.
GREAT!

How Did Lincoln Peirce Know?

This is my classroom!

Click on this link! I have had this EXACT conversation in my classroom! Okay, not exact, I mean none of my kids have lucky socks, but you'll get what I mean here in a moment...

http://comics.com/big_nate/

I laughed so hard that Jay thought I was gonna lose it!

*grin*

SNOW DAY #1

This morning I heard the phone rang at 5:00-ish, and was GLAD to hear it ringing! I know, it seems a little strange to hear someone EXCITED about getting an early morning phone call, but when it's a call announcing a SNOW DAY, it's a welcome interruption of sleep! I turned off my alarm clock, and went right back to sleep!

About 9:00 I awoke and enjoyed the day. I was actually productive, as I got ALL my paperwork for school done. It helped that I got most of it done yesterday, but it felt GREAT to put everything back in my backpack and know I don't have to touch it tomorrow! I will admit, I wish I had my school laptop here at home so I could get EVERYTHING done, but I know that God will give me the time I need on Wednesday to get it all done. *grin*

The rest of the time I have cuddled with Jay, enjoyed TV, surfed the web, and played with Jay in the snow. Playing with Jay in the snow was my FAVORITE part of my day. He ran around and played with the snow! It was so cute! I even walked around and encouraged him to run! At one point, I tied him up so I could bring in the trash can and get the mail. I went to undo the rope, and he got lose. Fortunately he's not super-fast in the deep snow, so I caught up to him fairly easily. While he was tied up, I did take a ruler out to see how high the snow was at that time. It was 2pm, and I had 4.5 inches in my lawn, in the area free of drifts. I just laughed. It was all SO pretty!

About 5 o'clock I started wondering about whether or not we would have school tomorrow. I got a text about 5:15 from a friend saying she had read that school was closed for tomorrow. Sure enough, within fifteen minutes, I received the automated phone call.

I GET ANOTHER SNOW DAY TOMORROW! *grin*

AND all my homework is done!

I LOVE IT!

Oh, and just so you know, I do love teaching the little people. I just enjoy an unplanned day (or two) off work! *grin*

Life.
Is.
GREAT!

Regina

Today I was enormously blessed by one of my Spiritual Moms, Regina. A few years ago, I was a part of a Small Group that Regina led. During that short season, I learned a great deal about the Lord. The season was brief and I moved into a different small group, but I can still remember nuggets of what the Lord taught me through Regina. A few times since that season I have been blessed to hear her preach. She is a very strong woman of God, and I always feel enormously blessed by the Lord when I get to be in a meeting where she is preaching. Today I got to do just that.

There is a church in Independence that had Regina preach this morning. The church is only about 30 minutes from my house, and I have to admit, I WAS SO EXCITED to get to go hear her preach!!!

While not EVERY part of her sermon was for me, there were plenty of parts that I felt were for me. Honestly, I have been in a season where sermons haven't been hitting me at all, so this morning was incredibly refreshing. It isn't that I have been completely dry because I always connect more with God in worship music than in sermons, but I have been in a place where I've been asking God for sermons such as this morning. And today He answered my prayer.

Regina preaches things that often hard to hear, but it is clear she's preaching the Word of the Lord every time. I always walk away from a sermon like today's being reminded that God calls each of us to different things, and talks to each of us individually. Regina is called to the Nations, and it is inspiring to hear her stories. But, the cool thing is that her sermon today could apply to those headed to the Nations, or those of us headed into a school building tomorrow. VERY COOL.

Once again, I THANK YOU GOD FOR REGINA.

Selfishly, I hope she comes back soon. *grin*

Life.
Is.
GREAT.

A Little Fun

I have a little story to share tonight. On one hand I think it's funny, and on the other hand I don't. You'll see why in a minute.

I was leaving my school building on Thursday Evening and one of our Kindergarten Teachers yelled Good-bye to me from inside her classroom. The Kindergarten Teacher is a KU Fan, and has some really GREAT KU decor outside her classroom door. I LOVE the decorations, and have told her so a few times.

KUTeacher asked me if I saw what MUTeacher's Class had done to her small KU Flag. I turned and looked at the flag, and they had created an MU flag OVER her KU flag!!! Since I am a KU Fan, I didn't think that was right. KUTeacher asked me if I'd like to help her share the JOY of the KU Jayhawks! I immediately dropped my bag and I went and grabbed MY KU Flag out of my classroom! After getting the flag, I entered MUTeacher's Classroom, and KUTeacher was already decorating the whiteboard. I immediately hung the KU flag OVER the American Flag. Now, before you get all worked up, I did not harm the American Flag. I simply made it so that when the class came in on Friday they would have to salute the flag! *grin* KUTeacher decorated the board really well, and we left.

Friday Morning when I went in to school, KUTeacher told me right away the MUTeacher knew who it was! I figured that would happen, which was fine by me. MUTeacher's students know that I am a big KU fan. I'm outnumbered in that room daily, but it honestly gives me something to talk about with students who are not a part of my program, so I like it! In fairness, there are some good KU fans in that class, so I'm not completely alone or anything. KU fans are outnumbered in that class though!

Friday Morning right before announcements (before school started for the day) I went in to see what the kids thought of the flag. The kids clearly enjoyed the whole thing! (My apologies though to MUTeacher, next time we'll have it happen at the END of the school day so that the wild kids can just go home!) When I was in there, Orangeheadedkid told me I have to do something to get my flag back!

I just grinned. I knew that there would be some sort of payback. Being a KU fan is tough sometimes, but I can do it! *grin*

Guess what I have to do?

I have to wear an MU shirt to school!

Isn't that awful? Isn't that horrible? If I don't wear the shirt, I don't get my flag back!

I guess I'll wear the shirt one day this coming week.

That's okay though, the KU/MU FUN is not over!

*grin*
Life.
Is.
FUN!!!

Commercial Breaks!!!

What do you do during Commercial Breaks when you watch TV? Do you take the dog out? Do you use the restroom? Do you get a snack from the kitchen?

Well, I've done all of the above, but my favorite thing to do during Commercials is READ! Tonight I have enjoyed various television shows, BUT I have also enjoyed "I Smell A Pop Quiz" by Lincoln Peirce, the author of the Big Nate Comics and Books. I have REALLY enjoyed the book tonight! I didn't finish it, I'm on page 22, but it has been fun to reading it during the commercials. I am also excited because there is a KU basketball game this weekend, AND the Chiefs game this weekend! I will read even more of the book this weekend during the commercial breaks of the games! I love it!

Sometimes I read my chapter books during commercials, and sometimes it's a comic book. Tonight I have felt like laughing a lot, so the comic book has been A LOT of fun to read!

So, if you haven't tried reading during commercials, I highly recommend it!

Or you can just watch the commercials.

Nah, get your book out, it's more fun!

*grin*
Life.
Is.
GREAT!

Big Nate!!!!

One of my favorite parts of my day is coming home and reading the daily Big Nate comic strip! I look forward to it because I always laugh-out-loud when I read it! He reminds me quite a bit of Calvin and Hobbes, a comic strip that I loved as a kid. So, tonight I am going to post the link so that you can enjoy the adventures of Nate! On the right hand side of the blog, I have a place titled "Feel Like Surfing?" Click on BIG NATE and enjoy the comic! I also encourage you to bookmark it like I did. That way, you will be GUARANTEED a good laugh each day!

The Bible encourages us to live like CHILDREN of God. Go ahead, it will make you feel like a kid again! *grin*

Just click here:
http://comics.com/big_nate/

*grin*
Life.
Is.
GREAT!!!

John The Baptist

On the recent Jon Thurlow CD, there is a song (Okay, many songs, but one in particular.) that has gripped my heart. It is titled, "John The Baptist." It has one line that God has been dealing with me on the past few days. He tends to do that with me; He'll give me a CD, and song-by-song I will receive more revelation of Him.

The line is "Blessed are those who are not offended in Me."

I have read that in Scripture. Over and over and over again. But I never really got it. I had head-knowledge, but not necessarily heart-knowledge.

I'll be honest and say I still don't have "it." It being what God wants me to grasp out of it. And, that's okay because He knows it will take time.

He knows I have had moments where I was offended in Him because of different reasons.

Now, I am learning the depth of that scripture.

Hum.....Kinda cool if you ask me.

*grin*
Life.
Is.
GREAT!

HOPE

I have spent the past week praying about my ONEWORD for 2010. Last year my word was KINDNESS. Truthfully, kindness is my FAVORITE word in the entire English Language. It continues to be, even as we enter into 2011.

During 2010, I challenged myself by showing kindness to others. I realize that isn't much of a challenge, I mean, as a rule I am kind to others regularly. After The Beech Road Experience though, I found myself in an odd place with God because I was kind to the point of sacrifice, and got hurt during the last season of my life. During 2010, the Lord showed me this past year that it is okay to be kind, even if it's not reciprocated or appreciated the way it should be. I learned that He sees my heart and that's all that matters.

I listen to K-Love Radio and started doing something new in 2010. On K-Love, Mondays are known as MAKE A DIFFERENCE MONDAYS. So, on Mondays, I started giving encouragement cards out to people after work. Most of the time, God led me to give them out to other staff members. Everyone works so hard in my building, and I found that it was fun to leave cards in mailboxes for those that God highlighted to me. Occasionally, He would prompt me to give a card to a student who was struggling with something and just needed a little extra boost. It was REALLY fun, and I plan on continuing it during 2011.

After spending much time in prayer, I feel led to choose the word HOPE for 2011. After coming out of Onething 2010, I find myself more in love with God than I've been in a while, and realize how hard it has been to hope for things. I have been standing in faith for things from the Lord, and have often felt my heart hardened because it was too hard to HOPE again. I feel that 2011 is the year that the Lord wants me to HOPE for things again. I realize this will be a process, but I truly believe that 2011 is the year of HOPE for me again. *grin*

Life.
Is.
Good.

1/1/11

Wow....what a date! 1/1/11! It's exciting just looking at it!

I sit here today reflecting upon OneThing last night. This was the 9th OneThing that I have attended, and God did more than I ever expected him to do! He loves to do that!

The last night of the conference is always my favorite, as God loves to do AMAZING things that night. I met so many NICE people, and the service itself was cool.

I met a nine-year-old named Isaac who absolutely blessed my heart! Before the service, the Lord highlighted him to me. I wasn't sure why, but He did. So, after a little while, I went over and talked to him. As it turns out, his name is Isaac Michael. I asked his parents what Isaac meant, and they said "Laughter." That definitely fit this young man. So, I called Slim (one of my shuttle buddies) to find out what "Michael" meant. As it turns out, it means, "Of The Lord." This definitely fit Isaac too. So, I talked to him a bit, and had SO MUCH FUN getting to know him. As it turns out, his sister was on my shuttle during the kid's conference last Summer. It was REALLY cool to get to know them. My favorite part was when worship started and the kid went for it! I mean, this kid is nine and was entering into the Presence in a way to blessed me, and I know it blessed God even more. He inspired me. It was really cool. Before his family left, I prayed over him. He is a sweet kid, and I know I'll see him again. *grin*

The rest of the service was really cool too. At one point, I just walked around praying for people. That was a lot of fun. The Lord used me to give encouragement to His kids. I was excited about that because I really hadn't done much of that throughout the conference. That was my second-favorite part of the day.

My FAVORITE part was when Corey led worship. Corey is anointed. We entered in the new year dancing and singing. I encountered God AGAIN! IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!

Ah, OneThing has come and gone. That's okay because I live here. I can enter in ANYTIME I want. I live here.

*grin*
Life.
Is.
AMAZING.