a few more days...

In less than one week I will be in 5th grade :-D  I am getting so very excited...and a little bit more nervous each day.  My plans are 98% complete; I need to make a few copies, and I have a "space ship" chair I'd like to get into the classroom before school starts again, but I think I'm ready!

I'm sitting bundled up (it snowed last night....just a tiny bit) because it is terribly cold today!  My husband man is playing a video game that I am enjoying watching.  We successfully purchased a mattress today....but I think it took all the energy I reserved after sleeping on our crappy mattress last night!

I got some very exciting Cricut cartridges for Christmas...I have a few things made, but want to make a few more things then I'll post some photos :)  I'm very excited to share my creations!  I think tomorrow may end up being a "leave me alone, I'm cricutting" day :)


a (not so) wintery day...

For four years I lived in a place that averaged 3 to 4 feet of snow in a few hours during a "normal" storm.  Prior to those four years I grew up in a place that would average 2 to 3 inches over night :-D Needless to say, snow is not my favorite (nor desired!) weather!  However, this year is odd; we don't have snow yet.  We've had a little bit (probably not even 2 inches total yet) and it hasn't stayed for more than a day and a half.  Christmas is two days away....doesn't it know it's supposed to be a WHITE not GREEN Christmas??  Oh well!!

I picked up the classroom key and teaching manuals on Wednesday for the classroom I am blessed to teach in January!  I have started to work on my lesson plans and am over halfway finished with those!  I am so excited!

I have a Cricut (college graduation gift from my family!) and a fair amount of cartridges to go with the machine.  I am really getting into it having this classroom now!  Once I have my little things finished, I'll post some photos!!  I'm waiting until after Christmas because I know of one certain cartridge (...Locker Talk...) that I am SO excited to open and play with!  Then I'll be able to finish some folders and extra things!

Here's to the next few days of being busy, full of love and family and praising an amazing Savior who was born, only to die and save me :)

Merry Christmas!



"We know what works:
quality teachers, more classroom time,
world class standards, real accountability.

The problem is complex; but the steps are simple.  
It starts with teachers becoming the very best;
leaders removing the barriers to change; 
neighbors committed to their school; 
you willing to act."
-credits of Waiting For Superman

I know I'm not the very best....but it's what I wake and pray everyday that I continue to strive towards.  God created me to love His children and gave me a passion to teach them.  Which is the only reason I can think of as to why I cried at the end of a documentary on the education system in the United States.  It's not fair and it does feel like a huge problem that no one knows how to fix.  But maybe, just maybe, if I vow to always strive to be the very best teacher I can be.....maybe I can help affect one hallway, then one school, then one district, then one state, then one nation....

Maybe it will never come to that.  I may never move higher than the four walls of a beautifully decorated classroom.  I will not stop trying, pouring, crying, longing and hoping for my students....they truly deserve nothing less.

For more information about the documentary "Waiting For Superman" or to join their movement, visit http://www.waitingforsuperman.com/action/


my favorite photos...

While teaching is currently my passion, I enjoy my digital SLR a LOT :) When I woke up this morning I had this inkling to choose my favorite photo from each wedding I've taken pictures at...just one.  It was hard!! Of course I stumbled across a few other events that I had to include.

These two are from my month in Haiti.  I love babies, and the
difference in skin color captures me!
My newborn nephew and my husband's hand!
Engagement Bliss :)  A favorite from my time with
Katie & Ryan...who will become husband & wife
next July <3
This is from a wedding in 2009...but her smile is so beautiful!

Bill & Whitney
This couple has a beautiful relationship and I love how she's
looking at him.  They truly are best friends!

Nick & Katie
If you knew Katie's giggle, this photo would come with sound!
This couple was married in a different state but came back to host
a reception for friends who could not make it out to their wedding!

Ben & Jill
What you unfortunately cannot see in this photo is the mass
amount of bubbles that were floating around them as they left!

Jon & Jenna
This adorable couple was married at the beach but had a fall reception
for their family.  I think this photo shows them as "them"....nothing fancy
just them enjoying each other :)

Jay & Sara
The reason I chose this photo from their June wedding
is because not many people saw this moment :)
They had walked back the isle (thank goodness for telephoto lens!)
and he swooped her around....it was beautiful!
Troy & April
Bless them it was such a windy October day,
but such a fun wedding!

While I did not take this photo...it is my favorite from  our wedding.
We had just walked back the isle at the end of the ceremony.  I think the word is
"giddy"  Thank you to Jan Theissan whose blog you can follow here


why change what truly is...

I was never the "pretty girl" or the "athlete of the year" or included in the "popular crowd."  I wanted to be, but truth is I was the "choir singing, piano playing, awkward, yearbook editing girl."  I had friends, most of whom I do not have contact with anymore (some days that makes me sad!).  I desired to be "artsy"; ya know, able to draw and sketch....my doodles didn't even look like anything.  I didn't really like high school at all.  In fact, I counted down my senior year by spending a much time as I could singing and editing the yearbook.  When the yearbook was published our senior year, for the first time ever, some of the "popular kids" spoke to me..WOW it was awesome! haha

Thankfully those years are behind me.  Maybe it's because it's raining outside; or maybe because I am substituting in a high school this week; or maybe it's because my sister is finishing her first year of college and I'm a bit nostalgic....but today I realized that I still desire to be that "popular girl"....just instead of being a girl I want to be a "popular teacher." 

I want the other teachers to enjoy working with me, to admire the time I put into my students and see the passion I have for this.  I want the students to be excited when I'm in their classroom because we'll have a fun day and learn lots of new stuff.  The reality is high school will always be the same...the "popular students" are not going to like any of the teachers.  I'm not going to all the sudden be the most stylish (even when I try really hard to be); I'm not going to wear makeup (even when I have the best intentions of putting it on); I'm not going to say the cool thing (because I wish I could); I'm going to be "that teacher."

The one who puts in the hours, who decorates the classroom, who greets good morning and says good bye every single day.  The teacher who keeps one sweater at school and wears it even if it does not match the outfit she's wearing.  No I will probably never be the skinny, trendy teacher I picture in my head.  But I'm desperately holding on to the fact that beyond those superficial aspects, I am a good teacher who is able to teach her students.  Thankfully elementary students are not as "clicky" as high school!

I spent an hour this morning attempting to create a "cool" blog background and header.  I have given up.  I'll stick with the simple solid colors and a few circles on the backgrounds.  Why change what truly is?  God created me the way I am....the "striving to be modestly stylish, creative but unable to produce art, passionate teacher" and He must have had a purpose behind that.  So here's to my blog that no one follows, with a simply layout and high school dreams of making a difference :)


a different kind of day...

I have been very blessed to be called into sub most days of the week :)  I do love teaching, and I have been in most grades from Kindergarten through 12th over this first semester of substituting.  I am thankful for the days that I have students to teach and interact with.

For the past two days, I have be subbing in a "Reassignment Center" which at my school is a very nice way of saying in school suspension :)  Thankfully there are no students in the center at this time (they must have been very good last week!) but at the same time, I'm now going on 15 hours of very little student interaction.

Thankfully I did have two students come down for some homework help during their studyhalls...I was probably way too excited to see them!  I have been purusing blogs and running out of teaching things to Google.

I want to become a "blogger" ya know, a real one that people follow because they share my belief in God, because they want to catch my passion for teaching (even on days when I don't have any students!), or because they love photographs and can't wait for me to post more!

Maybe a bit ambitious, but what are new teachers for??


memorial box monday...

I don't remember exactly how I found this blog, but I have been following this beautiful family at A Place Called Simplicity for a few months now....well since early in the summer.  I love to read their newest stories.  This amazing family has a heart for adoption; and has many beautiful children because of it!  They rest in God and His promises to provide for their needs and He faithfully does.  I don't know the full story, but she started "Memorial Box Monday" as a special type of blog post dedicated solely to telling a story of how God fulfilled His promises!  The above photo is their's which they use to represent their MBM posts...I don't know that I can be as good at posting every Monday, but today I was reminded of God and wanted to share!  So here's my first (of hopefully many!) MBM posts....

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

My passion is teaching.  I feel alive (most days) when I have a group of students and I am teaching them something new!  I am a certified Elementary and Special Education teacher.  I love both sides equally!  I defend my students no matter what label the education system has given to them.  I truly believe God created me with this little heart filled with the desire to be a teacher!  I've wanted to be a teacher since I was in first grade and never really wavered from that.  Of course some day I'd love to be a Mama, but right now I know His plan is for me to teach.  When I graduated in May, the outlook of a job in my state was slim to none.  I forged on believing that He would provide a full time job for me because He knew how much I wanted to teach....He created me to do it, of course He knew!  Well, numerous applications with no responses came and went, and I didn't have a full time job.  I fell back on applying to AmeriCorp simply so I could be in the same school everyday.  It wouldn't be a "teaching" job, but it'd be as close (as I thought) as I could get to teaching this year.

Silly me, gave up on God well before He had given up on me!  How grateful I am that He knew much better! My AC application landed on a desk of a principal at a local school who called immediately saying "I'd really like to interview you for our AC position."  This was my third AC interview, and I assumed I probably would be working at the first school I interviewed at, but I agreed to meet said principal.

Within twenty minutes of meeting this new principal, God began to show me His real plan :)  The principal had two long term substitute positions available for this school year.  He asked if I would be willing to put my AC application aside and consider taking the long term.  ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!!!  You mean, I would get to be a TEACHER!

God blesses me beyond what I deserve, or ask for.  He is good!  I taught for the first five weeks of school as a 5th and 6th grade Learning Support teacher (yay Special Education!) and starting January 3, 2012, I will get to teach the remainder of the school year as a 5th grade teacher (yay Elementary Education!)!!!  I am the luckiest girl!!!  I have been blessed with many days of subbing in between these two positions.  I am not guaranteed anything for next year, but God has shown me that He knows (and remembers!) the desires of my heart, that He created.  He will provide the classroom of students that He wants me to love and teach each day for the length of time I need to be there!

My heart is so excited to meet these 18 fifth graders that I will get to call "my first 5th grade class!"

Dear Linny,  Thank you for starting MBM...someday I hope to have a physical box (much like yours) that I can go through with my children to teach them how faithful our great God is! You and your family are a huge encouragement to me.  I pray someday I will be able to share an adoption story with you as I have read yours!
Much Love,

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus
to do good works, which God prepared in advance
for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10


April & Troy's Wedding

I had the honor of attending a dear friend's wedding in October. She gave me permission to post her photos on my website. At the time, I thought I might try to start my own photography business. Since then, I decided to wait, and start a blog instead :) This post is for her, because her photos deserve to be posted :)  They had some weather bumps, but still ended with a beautiful day!  Congratulations to the newlyweds!

fall of apples...

Husband and I found an orchard near home late in the fall, about the time they allow people to "pick the seconds"....ya know, the apples that fell to the ground that they cannot sell nor turn into apple cider! So we picked "seconds", and we came home with two very large bags of apples.  While making various apple things (sauce and pie to name my favorites!) I discovered this one little, perfect, and red apple.  I set it aside because I wanted to take photographs of it....not positive why, but I'm happy I did!

the end of 2011...

It seems to cliche to start a blog in January; to much like a resolution that I won't keep! So, I'll start in December.  I don't have a specific purpose or desire.  More of a place to write my thoughts that I know don't ultimately matter! haha

It's something that makes me feel happy!  Organization! The act of taking something that appears messy and creating lists, folders, and piles out of the mess. I do this to my physical desk as well as my computer's desktop. My once faithful laptop has become less faithful over the past year.  We have had our share of crashes, including two weeks before our wedding, missing files, and lost photographs.  Thankfully I have learned the benefit of an external hard-drive and all those offer!

I love photography :)  I will take photographs of anything that I can!  That creates a mess! There's not a great way to keep oodles of digital photos organized.  So a few years back I found my folder system for the folders.  At the end of each month (or two months...depending on my memory) I move the folder onto my external hard-drive, and hope that doesn't crash!  That is what I did today!  I moved my 2011 photo file onto the external hard-drive, rendering my laptop almost photo-less....but opening up the "my pictures" folder for the 2012 folder which now holds a folder for all twelve months of the coming year!! I cannot wait to fill them with the memories of next year!

Oooo and I cleaned out three of my four emails (email junkie, I know!) :) Husband is watching football....what else shall I do?!