Saturday, October 1, 2011

I'm Alive!!

I'm not even sure if anyone is still reading my blog or not, but I just wanted to touch base about life for a minute.  As you know from my previous blog post, I'm a first-year second grade teacher.  Talk about a job!  I love it but it is completely exhausting.  I work for an exceptional school in an exceptional school district, so you can only imagine the pressure to be perfect!  I'm working very long hours right now and hope I will get to some kind of "normal" again...not sure what that means anymore.  Anyway, I'm hoping to read some blogs this weekend and get caught up.  Just wanted my sweet blogger friends to know that I'm still here!!!   Have a blessed weekend!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Exciting News!!

I want to shout it from the rooftops...I found a teaching job!!!  One week into a long term sub assignment, I was hired as a permanent second grade teacher!  Yay!  (Can you tell I'm a little excited?)  I've been swamped the past couple of weeks and will only get busier but hope to post some more soon.  Just had to share my great news.  God is good!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of School

Today was the first day of school here in Amarillo.  Abby started second grade and Wyatt started back at his day school after taking the summer off.  I have a couple of long term sub assignments lined up if I don't find a permanent teaching position. 

Abby couldn't wait to wear this outfit.  It was 100 degrees here today, but she insisted on wearing it.

Sassy, Statue of Liberty pose

Wyatt wanted to hold the sign too :)

Another Statue of Liberty

I love the start of school because it signals a new routine and a set schedule, not to mention that fall is on its way (and hopefully some relief from the heat).  We had a great summer filled with memories that I will treasure forever but I am excited to get the ball rolling for a great school year!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pinterest? Help!

Okay, I've seen several posts about Pinterest lately, and I definitely want to join so I can find inspiration for home decor and craft projects.  My question?  Do you have to be on Facebook or Twitter to join?  I know, I know, Casey and I are the only people in the world that aren't on Facebook.  I have my reasons for it, but I might just be tempted enough to join if it's the only way to Pinterest.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

It has been way too long since I've done a WILW post.  Here's what I'm loving this week.  Link up with Jamie to share what you're loving too!

DKNY Golden Delicious perfume.  I received one of the paper scent samples in an Ulta catalog, and I must have it! 


Paisley Pillow Cover from PB.  The colors match my living room perfectly and it's on sale!

School Supplies!!  I love back to school shopping for the kids.  We just bought all of Abby's school supplies and clothes.  Plus some stuff for Wyatt, even if he will only be home with me.  We still have school at home and he needs stuff.  :)

China Glaze Crackle Metals.  I fell in love with crackle nail polish several months ago and especially love the new metallic colors.  They look perfect for fall.

I'm loving that we're studying the book of Revelations in our Sunday morning Bible class.  It's always been a little harder for me to understand because of all the symbolism used so I'm really looking forward to diving in and learning more.

And as always, I'm loving my sweet family and friends.  Couldn't get by without them! 

 Happy Wednesday!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Faith in Uncertain Times

I've had a bit of a heavy heart lately.  After two job interviews for elementary teacher positions in less than a month, I've still not been hired.  There have been a lot of budget issues this year here in Amarillo (actually the entire state of Texas) and not as many new teachers are being hired.  I've heard that there are over 400 elementary teachers alone here vying for a handful of jobs.  I'm finding that experienced teachers are getting shuffled around and new teachers are being passed up.  It's really frustrating because everyone has to start somewhere.  How do you get experience without actually having a teaching job?

I'm really trying to count my blessings.  I know MANY potential teachers that haven't even had an interview, so I feel that I must be on the right track if I'm getting called in at all.  I talked with one principal at length and was reassured that I answered the questions correctly and will be a great teacher, but they just needed to go with a candidate with more experience.  It's been tough.  I KNOW that I am a good teacher.  I just need someone to give me a chance. 

I've been fortunate to have some very supportive friends who have given me a lot of encouragement, but it's still a hard pill to swallow.  I've done a lot of soul searching lately and know I need to just completely turn this over to God.  It's too big for me to deal with alone.  I know that Satan delights in my pain and anxiety, so I must turn to the Lord to comfort me and give me the strength I need.  We sang "The Battle Belongs to the Lord" in services this morning and it really hit home. 

I have an arsenal of verses that I keep close by for strength and instant peace.  Here are a few of my favorites.

 When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
   your unfailing love, LORD, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me,
   your consolation brought me joy.         Psalm 94:18-19

This one has been particularly helpful.  I've felt self doubt and anxiety this past month like never before.  I must remember that God created me to be just that...ME.  He loves me and has a plan for me.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
   and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
   and he will make your paths straight.      Proverbs 3:5-6

This verse helps me to remember that God is in control.  He sees what I can't.  I must simply have faith and trust in Him.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.     Philippians 4:6

This verse reminds me that I need to talk to God in prayer frequently and with gratitude, asking for what I need. 

I had a friend gently point out to me recently something that I've struggled with throughout my entire student teaching and job search....that maybe God wants me to be home with my children for a while longer.  She reminded me of all that I would (and did) miss and that I will never be able to get this time back.  I am fortunate that my husband has a good job and I am currently in the position of being able to stay home.  Maybe this is His plan.  I just don't know, so I have to pray for guidance and understanding. 

God is faithful and I need to be too.  Even, make that especially, in uncertain times.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Biker Chick

Abby came out of her room the other day wearing this get-up: a witch's dress from an old Halloween costume, a skull and crossbones bandana, and a pair of skinny jeans.  She said she was a biker idea where she got that from, but I'm not gonna cross her. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Colorado Vacation, Part 4 (Last one, I promise!!)

Okay, so this is the last vacay post.  I am a museum buff so we had to find one to visit in Denver.  There are a few to choose from, including a children's museum, but after much research we decided to go to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  Boy, am I glad we went here!  It was awesome.

I loved the pirate hanging from the sign on the outside of the museum. 

Miss Priss hanging out with the peg leg.

There was the coolest Real Pirates exhibit from National Geographic that you could purchase.  Cameras were not allowed inside, but it was so cool.  The kids got pirate hats and "tattoos" (stamps) upon exiting the exhibit.  It took about and hour and half to go through and was truly one of my favorite parts of the museum.

Next up was the Egypt exhibit.  Another really cool one.

Abby's mummy/zombie imitation.  This girl finds a way to get in almost every picture!

Finally a picture of my sweet Wyatt.

There was a really neat exhibit about space and a planetarium where we saw a show a cute little children's show about the Sun.  

We watched this fun Imax show about ocean life.  It was narrated by Jim Carrey and was pretty funny.

The children's area of the museum, called the Discovery Zone, was great.  Abby took advantage of all the fun activities and labs offered.

However, Wyatt did not move from the block station.  Typical.

Abby saw this book and insisted I take a picture.  She was laughing hysterically about it.  :)

The museum was great!  I could have gone back for a few days in a row, but the rest of the gang didn't appreicate it as much as I did. 

We also went to Manitou Springs and walked around the historic area.  There were so many neat little shops and restaurants.  I found some great bath bombs at a shop called Salus (you can order online!).

We ate at this restaurant called Coquette's.  It was delicious.  They had burgers and crepes and it was so good!

We decided to head up to the cliff dwellings after shopping.  It was pretty neat except for the two buses full of middle school camp kids.  I know that sounds horrible since I'm a teacher, but they were loud and rude and just really ruined the experience.  

Since we were in vicinity, we headed over the the Garden of the gods.  Be still my heart.  It was beautiful.  Until it started pouring rain.  We had to run for about 20 minutes in the pouring rain to get to our car.  It was a really cold, wet trip back to the hotel in Denver. 

The sky started to turn ominous. 

Balanced Rock.  I took this one inside the car. :)

Despite the rain, Garden of the gods was truly breathtaking.  I can't wait to go back to see it again!

If you didn't notice, I fell in love with Colorado.  I truly feel like it's a part of me now and is calling me back.  Maybe one day!  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Colorado Vacation, Part 3

Okay,  the vacation posts are probably very boring for readers of my blog.  I have to document this stuff for us to look back on because I've not been scrapbooking much lately.  Hang in there because the vacay posts are coming to a close soon!  I have TONS more pictures (I took over 600 of them) but I tried to narrow it down to the major highlights. 

We spent lots of time in Colorado Springs- there is so much to do there!  We decided to visit the zoo since so many people we know told us it was great.  I must say, it is a really good zoo. 

There was a really great giraffe exhibit and you could buy food (lettuce) for a couple of bucks and feed the giraffes.  The kids, and someone else apparently :), really enjoyed it.

As you can see, Casey was being an excellent role model for all the young children.

The view from the zoo was amazing. 

The zoo was sectioned off into areas: Asian Highlands, Rocky Mountains, etc...  and there are many neat exhibits and things to do.  If you are ever in Colorado Springs, I highly recommend checking out this zoo!

After the zoo, we were hot and sweaty and decided to make an impromptu trip to Pike's Peak.  We had planned on doing it the next day but decided to go ahead with it. Boy, was it INTENSE!!!

Let me just say, this mountain almost did me in.  Seriously.  I hate heights and we were literally driving on the edge of a mountain with no guardrails at some places.  Most of the drive was paved, but there was an almost 4 mile stretch of unpaved, gravel road that caused my heart to beat out of my chest.  Abby was picking up on my anxiety and was in tears with me while Casey and Wyatt were laughing and enjoying the whole drama.  Sheesh. 

This sign was posted soon after entering the mountain drive.  Not only was I about to be tortured by the steep, mountainous drive but now I had to keep my eyes open for Big Foot!

The views were amazing.  (When I actually opened my eyes ;) )

It started to get really cloudy and I was so afraid that a thunderstorm would pop up.  I can't imagine making that drive in a storm.

We made it!!  It was so cold at the summit and we didn't have jackets with us.

Pike's Peak was truly amazing albeit a little (okay, a lot) scary at times.  If you decide to make the drive, just remember to bring along some Xanax and you should be fine. ;)