Friday, December 18, 2009

2 Hs....halfway done and homeschooling

Today was the last day of 2nd quarter.  That means that this school year is halfway done.  I cannot really believe it, because it has went by so fast.  We had our Christmas party starting at noon.  It was a good time of food and gifts.  I got some really cool gifts from my students.  I am truly thankful!!!  Many of my students really liked the gift that I gave them:  a cookie cutter and sugar cookie mix.  A parent even called me tonight and said how much they appreciated it!  They thought it was such a cool idea!  That was just really the icing on the cake today.

Today was also bittersweet because one of my students won't be coming back after Christmas break.  Her and her older sister (7th grade) are going to be homeschooled by their mom starting in January.  This girl was a new student at our school this year.  I think she was doing very well in my class, both academically and socially.  I know that many of the students in my class are going to miss her.  Another girl even started crying today when she had to say good-bye.  I know that this girl isn't leaving because of anything that I've done (or haven't done), but it's still hard.  I still feel like I've failed in some way (even though the decision was made more for the older sister).  I really wonder how the mom is going to do at homeschooling.

I have somewhat mixed feelings about homeschooling.  While I think some people do a great job at it and it greatly helps their children, others I don't think have the necessary experience for it.  I know what it's like to teach students day after day.  I went to college for 4 years to prepare for this job and I still don't know everything.  There are still some days that I'm still figuring out how to teach different concepts.  I just worry that some parents choose homeschooling without thinking about if they are prepared for the academic part of it.  If someone has very little to no knowledge of what to teach or how to teach, how can they do an acceptable job.

Now don't get me wrong, I think some children can thrive in homeschooling situations.  I've known people that were homeschooled and they've done very well.  I also currently know some people.  On the other hand, I also know of some situations in which the child has not done well, or really struggled when they've entered a traditional school.  I just feel like a lot has to be thought about when thinking about homeschooling...just loving your child a lot and being a good Christian does not necessarily mean that you are going to be great at homeschooling.  I think if you reduce the qualifications for good teaching to these things, you lose the respect for the teacher.

As a teacher, I think that would greatly hurt our society, and would lead to more and more teachers truly not caring about what they do.

-In Christ

P.S.-I don't mean to offend anyone or their decisions.  I'm merely stating my opinion from a teacher's perspective. 

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Book Challenge

I came across this book challenge on someone else's blog and so I checked it out.  After looking at it, I figured that I could be a part of it, because I read plenty.  100 books in 1 year; that's an average of 2 books per week. 

2010 Reading Challenge--100+ books

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Today I asked one of my good friends if she ever thinks out possible conversations in her head.  By this I mean, do you plan out what you would say if you have a particular conversation with someone?  She said that yes she does.  Then I asked if she ever actually says out load what she might or would like to say if there was an real conversation.  Again, she said that she does this.  I told her that I do too.  She said it doesn't make me crazy. 

The reason I brought this up with her and here in my blog is because last night I was having one of these "conversations."  I was actually saying some things that I would like to say to this friend (I mentioned it in the previous post).  I still haven't had a chance to discuss things with her.  I don't really want to do it to bring up the past; I just feel like I need a sense of "closer" on the whole issue.

Last night was a hard night for me; at least harder that it has been lately.  It was about 10:30 or so and I was thinking about what I would say to my friend and I just started crying.  Part of it was brought on by something I read on Facebook.  It's another one of those times when I know logically that I'm probably reading too much into things; while emotionally I feel hurt and jealous/envious.  I have a feeling that I was feeling sort of depressed last night because there was a slight lapse in my anti-depressant.  I had taken it two nights ago around 10:00 pm and last night I hadn't taken it yet when I had this short crying episode.  Can not taking it exactly 24 hours apart really have that much of a difference on my mood?  When I was thinking about this situation this morning, I didn't feel so depressed.  Sure, I felt slighty bothered, but I didn't feel like crying.  So I'm thinking my crying last night was probably the result of not taking my medicine right on time.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

feeling left out

Due to some news that I found out from a couple of close friends a little over 2 weeks ago, a part of me is feeling left out.  While feeling left out is not a new feeling for me, it's frustrating this time because I feel like I shouldn't be the one who feels left out.  I'm the one who has done the "right" thing, so why should I be the one that feels left out. 

I haven't really talked to either of my friends about the information that they shared with me.  One of them I specifically think I need to talk to about the news.  We just haven't had the time in the last two weeks.  Things have been really busy; at the same time, sometimes it feels like things are different between us.  At times I feel "akward" around her.  It's like I want to address the situation and talk about the information that she shared with me, but we just haven't had a good opportunity.  Also, she's dealing with a lot of stuff in her own life, including in her marriage, so part of me doesn't want to add any pressure to the situation.  However, because it has been more than 2 weeks now since she shared her "story" with me, part of me has forgotten some of the things I wanted to say to her in the days soon after.  I did talk to my counselor that day she shared her story, so I was able to work through some of my issue with my counselor.  But I still feel like my friend and I need to discuss things. 

It's hard being in this place sometimes; where part of me wants for things to go back to how they used to be, while another part of me knows that things won't quite be the same again.  I'm just now sure how to find a balance between the two.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's been awhile

So I know that it has been a while since I last's even been a while since I even logged on to read other people's blogs.  I guess I just haven't had the time (or, if I'm honest with myself, the desire to).  Tonight I got caught up on the blog of someone I actually know in "real" life.  It's a blog that is often hard to read; it usually makes me cry.  Ultimately though it makes me want to make better choices and reach out to others better.  It just seems to be slow going. 

Onto other things...last week I saw a picture of myself that was a huge reality check for me and my weight problem.  I did not look good in the picture...even though a friend told me that I looked okay, I think it look terrible.  Other the last few weeks I've told myself numerous times that I need to lose weight and get my butt in gear (no pun intended).  Well after seeing this picture, I really told myself that I need to get moving.  So this week I've been trying really hard to work out.  A friend and I have walked the past two days during lunch time (unfortunately we can only to this every other week because of our schedules).  I've also went walking in the evening by myself.  Each of the last two days I've walked for about 1 hour.  Now I'm just hoping that I can keep it up.  I know that I need to make this change...for a variety of reasons. 

Well I want to head to bed soon, so I can do my devotion (which is another thing that I'm trying to do every day now) and get plenty of sleep tonight.  I'm hoping to write again soon. 

God Bless-

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Two friends

A friend of mine from high school (I'll call her Anne) has recently become a Muslim. She grew up as a Roman Catholic, but at times she struggled with her faith and what she believed. Well I found out this past spring that she converted to Islam in March. I don't stay in a lot of contact with her. If I do talk with her it's over Facebook. I've struggled with what exactly to say to her and I'm having trouble understanding her decision. Well last night I finally asked her something about it on Facebook. Her responses to my questions today really shocked me and made me really realize how into this she is.

I'm still struggling with what exactly to say to her. A part of me wishes that I could easily change her mind. I know that I cannot do that. Only the Holy Spirit can change her heart. I'm just going to continue to pray for her and answer her questions that she has for me the best that I can and pray that the Lord will work through my responses. One of the questions she asked me is: "how do you know something is the truth if you do not have knowledge of what you believe is a lie?"

Onto another friend. This is a friend from college (I'll call her Shay). She's definitely my best friend from college and the one I stay in contact with the most (other than another girl I knew in college that I now work with and is now one of my best friends). Since we've graduated college, we've only seen each other a few times and it's always been for a short amount of time. I've really wanted her to come and visit me. She was planning on coming and visiting me in early August, the weekend before school started. She ended up not being able to come because she didn't have enough money. I was really understanding. I know that she's having financial problems and that money has been tight with her lately.

That's not what has made me feel hurt. I'm hurt because she couldn't afford to come and see me but she could afford to go up to the Twin Cities (she lives in Iowa) this weekend for Labor Day. She was going with another friend from college. Now I know that she had this trip planned before she planned on coming to visit me. Now the logical part of me knows that I shouldn't be hurt because she had this planned a while ago. But another part of me still hurts.

What hurts it that she didn't even originally think about coming to visit me over Labor Day weekend as a possibility, rather than going to Minneapolis. She doesn't now anyone that lives up there. They weren't going to see anyone in particular. They were just going to hang out and probably do some shopping. It also hurts because last year, her and a couple of college friends went to Chicago. Another place that they didn't know anyone in particular. They just went to do some sightseeing. Why don't they ever think to come and visit me? To go somewhere where they actually know someone? Why am I not thought of a possibility as a place to visit? It just hurts.

I know that I shouldn't find my contentment in my life from other people. I need to find it on my own (that's one of the things my counselor said this past week at our appointment). I need to find a way to keep my "cup" filled on my own. I cannot expect and need others to fill it. I'm trying to do that. I'm reaching out my "cup" wanting others to fill it with their words of affirmation and quality time (my primary love languages). Once I find a way to fill it on my own then the things from others will just be a bonus. I cannot be dependent on others. It was hard to hear this, but I know that it's true.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

good glasses

So I figured it was about time that I write about something good...about a positive thing happening. Today I got a brand new pair of glasses. I've had my old ones for a little over 4 years. I was way past time to get some new ones. The new ones I picked out are different from the ones I had before. They are more square shaped with thicker frames. I was a little nervous about getting them...wondering what people would think. I did take a good friend with me to pick them out. Also the people at the eye doctor's were really good about helping me choose. Now that I actually have my new glasses and am wearing them, I LOVE them. I'm really glad that I picked them. I think they make me look more mature.

When I went and picked them up today, the lady helping me at the eye doctor's could tell that I was really happy with them. She commented, "You are just so happy." I guess it's just something different. Based on comments that I've received from people that have seen pictures of me in my new glasses, they look good to others too.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

how do I appear?

Sometimes I often wonder if I complain TOO MUCH about the struggles going on in my life. I feel as if I spend too much time dwelling on the bad. I think that people pick up on this. I then wonder if this turns people away; if it makes people not like me?

I really wonder how I appear to other people. Not only how I appear to people in real life, but also how I appear to people who may be reading my blog. Do I come across the same way in both? Or do people see me differently?

To be perfectly honest, I'd like to know that people are reading my blog. I know that it may seem shallow and that I'm striving for attention. I think so much of this wish strives from me jus wanting to know that people care (in both my life and the blogging world). But am I driving people away by the focus and topics of my blog? Would I have more followers if I focused more on the positive things? Or should I remain real to myself?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

my vibe????

Now, to some people this post may seem rather strange, or irrational. But it's just my thoughts on something that happened today. I was traveling back from New Mexico. On one of my flights back, both of the seats next to me were empty (I was flying Southwest, so people get to choose their seats). From what I could tell, the other rows had numerous people in them. As people came on after me (I was sitting in a window seat), numerous people passed me or looked around at the seats near me when choosing a seat. I couldn't help but wonder if I put off a certain "vibe" that people don't want to sit near me. I know that I shouldn't feel sad or slightly depressed that perfect strangers didn't want to sit in the same row as me (it didn't even have to be right next to me), but I still have questions. Is it the way I look? Is is the expression on my face? Is it what I'm wearing? What is it that makes them choose another seat?

Like I said, at the beginning of this post, this may not make sense to people. It was just something that I thought off on my flight today.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

before vacation

I thought that I'd write a quick entry tonight, because I probably won't be able to write an entry for about a week. I'm leaving tomorrow for a short vacation. I'm going to New Mexico to see my older brother and his family, including my adorable niece and nephew. I'm really excited to see them, even though I saw them earlier this summer for about 3 days. I love any chance that I have to see them though because I usually only see them during the summer and at Christmas time.

It's hard sometimes being far away from them. I'd love to see them more often, but our schedules just don't allow for it, plus I cannot afford to fly out there very often (and my current car probably wouldn't make it that far). Lets just say when I do see them, I take lots and lots of pictures. I probably took like 100 when I saw them earlier this summer up in Minnesota (we were all there at my parents). I'll be taking a bunch more this time too. That way I can look at them between the times I actually get to see them.

I've been looking forward to this trip for a while. It should be a good time; we're not doing anything really exciting, maybe going to the zoo. I'm perfectly fine with that, because I'm going more to spend time with the kids than to sightsee.

Well I should be heading to be, since I have to be up early in the morning for my flight.

Take care and God Bless!!

In Christ-

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Are my "storms" really that bad?

Today's sermon at church is really was inspired this entry. The sermon was about the "storms" of life that we face and how Jesus helps us through them. This really made me reflect on my life, my reliance on God during the difficult times, and even the problems others face.

During the sermon the vicar shared a story of a family friend that had just lost their 6-month old son to SIDS this past Friday. This of course made me (and I'm sure many others) think of the fact that the vicar's 5th child was stillborn last fall. A huge part of me felt sad when he was sharing this story. I also felt guilty, because I know that I complain about so many things in my life and I feel like my life is so hard, when its really nothing compared to what these families have gone through.

I also have a friend, who is married, and lately it seems that her and her husband are having some difficulties. I'm supportive of her and am always willing to listening. But as I was sitting next to her in church today, I couldn't help but feel guilty. Are my problems really that bad compared to hers?

I just said to myself, I shouldn't make such a big deal of the things I have to deal with. A part of me knows that they are serious for me and everyone has their own and different difficulties and struggles. I guess what I'm trying to say is that, while this sermon made me reflect on some of the "storms" in my life, it also made me recall the problems of others. I think that I have a tendency to be a little too self-centered when it comes to my problems. Sometimes I'm so consumed in my own problems, that I forget that others are going through tough times.

I just pray that the Lord will help me to not only work through my own struggles, but to also be compassionate to others and their struggles and be helpful and supportive when needed.

When I'm going through a difficult time, I'll admit that I don't always immediately turn to God. Sometimes it escapes me for a while. I think part of it is an issue of trust. There have just been times in my life when things haven't turned out the way I want them to, so I guess I just find it hard to trust. Now I know that God knows what is best and answers prayers in his own way. It's just hard for me sometimes to be comfortable with the answers and not having control.


I want to say thanks to my first readers! It means a lot to me to know that people (now matter how few they may be at this point) are reading this. Thanks for you great comments!! I really appreciate them and your thoughts.

I'll post again soon. I've got a few ideas running through my head, so when I pick one, I'll do some more writing.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Books I love to Read

Books and reading are somewhat of an obsession of mine. I love buying books, both for myself and for my classroom. It's always dangerous for me to go into a bookstore. Rarely do I come out of the store without a book. My classroom library has over 400 books; I'd say that I own at least 80% of them. When it's time for Scholastic Book Orders, I just cannot seem to stop myself from buying more books. My personal library at home is also full. My bookself cannot even hold them all. There are many books that I own that I haven't read yet (partly because I like to get books from the library, so I read those instead). There just isn't enough time for me to read them all, even with the large amount of reading I do.

It wasn't always this way. I didn't always love to read. It hasn't always been the way I pass so much time. Even thought I've always been a good reader, I didn't always read a lot outside of school. Growing up, I usually spent my free time in front of the tv. I still do that a lot of the time, but I'm usually not paying a lot of attention, because I've got a book out and am busy reading. In my family you were more likely to see my mom or younger brother sitting around with a book open in front of them.

The change really came about during college. I remember one May at the end of the college school year (it was either end of freshmen or sophmore) I decided that I was going to try and read more that summer. I was already making a list in my head of books that I wanted to read. From there things just took off. I read at least 30 books that summer. Many days I would read an entire book. If not that, books didn't take me long to finish. I just seemed to fly through numerous books.

In many ways, I haven't stopped since. Sure I've paused a few times, but never for more than a few days. There are a few times when I got through a little spurt of not feeling like reading. Overall though, I'm reading most chances I get.

Now what kinds of books do I read? I'd say that almost every book I read has some aspect of romance in it. Some are Christian romance, some are not. A few years ago when I really jumped into reading, most of the books were just regular romance. It wasn't until later that I really discovered christian romance, including love inspired and christian chick-lit. Ocassionally I'll venture back to the regular romance books, but my book shelves are lined with lots of christian romance books.

I think I'm drawn to christian romance books because it takes me to a situation that I've never experienced. I'm drawn into another world; a world were the girl gets the guy, a world so different from my own. Some of the books have characters that I can easily relate to, others there are very few similarities between myself and any characters. It usually doesn't affect whether or not I'll pick up and enjoy a book.

Now, don't think that I love every book that I read. There are some books that I just can't get into; I put them down and away before I finished. There are just some time that I don't enjoy certain books. I may pick that same book up later and finish it. Sometimes I force myself to keep going in a book and finish it. Sometimes I skip to the end, just to read the ending and consider myself "finished." Yet other times I'll skip to the end, just because I cannot wait any longer to know how it ends, and then continue to read from where I left off. Generally I don't like to start a book and not finish it.

Some people cannot believe how much I read. Numerous times I've been asked, "How do you have so much time to read?" or I've heard, "I don't have time to read." My response is always something along the lines of I don't have anything else to do. I'm not in a relationship, I'm not married, I don't have kids. My time is a little more open. I can read just before bed. I can read after I take my shower in the morning. I don't have the responsiblities that others have.

That brings up the question of whether or not I would trade in all my time to read for those responsiblities? For the most part, I'd say that I'd give up all the extra time for a story fit for the books I love to read. Unfortunately reading the stories of romance cannot replace the lack of it in my life. Sometimes I worry that it gives me unrealistic expectations of how my life may be. Overall, I just want to at some point be able to say that I have my own, though unperfect it will be, "happy ending."

Friday, July 24, 2009

another night alone

Again it is Friday night and I'm spending the night just sitting at home. No plans. No social life. I'm sure that I could have taken a more active role in having something to do tonight, but there are so many times when I just don't want make the effort, or I'm just tired of making the effort. Tonight is not the first Friday night that I've had nothing to do, not by a long shot. So many nights I sit at home with no place to go. Some days it's harder to deal with than others. Some days I'm okay with the not having anything to do, with being lonely. Other days I just want to sit around and mope and possibly cry.

It's hard because so many of the people that I know are at different times in their lives. They're in a relationship, married, and/or have children. They just have different responsibilities than me. While I understand that they have these responsibilities and that they don't have as much free time, its still hard when I feel forgotten.

My counselor has told me that one situation is not better than the other. They are simply different. She also said that people are most likely not purposefully forgetting me. They just have other things on their mind. The logical part of me understands that; it's just the emotional driven part of me that sometimes doesn't. I guess it hurts when I'm continually not invited. It's also hard when I know that these people are inviting others who are "new."

Let's just say that it's an ongoing war that I'm fighting. Some days I feel like I've won a battle. Other days I feel like I've been badly defeated.