14 Days

until the first day of school. Oh dear.

I feel like I have so much to do and I don't even know where to start. I am pretty darn nervous about everything. I can't believe in 14 days I will have 60 students of my own.

Here are the things I do know:
- I know how I want to conduct my spelling lessons
- I want to incorporate writer's workshop
- I want to teach the QAR strategyf
- I know how I want to run my classroom library

Here are the things I know I have to do:
- Arrange my classroom
- Create my welcome letter
- Prepare for Open House
- Get my lessons together for the first week of school
- Attend a million orientations

Let's get the ball a-rolling!! =)


Women, like me

So I realize my last post was a little on the sad side so I thought I would lighten it up with some things I have been reading and pondering.

I seem to have been fascinated with Esther lately and I keep hearing about her everywhere, church services with special guests and even a high school girls' Bible study. So I thought I'd go back and read the book of Esther over again. While reading the book, I literally found myself going through my days thinking of her and what she would do in my situations and how she would look at things from a humbled servant's point-of-view.

When finishing Esther, I started reading 1 Samuel. I have never read the entire books of Samuel, I usually read about Hannah and stop. I told myself I was going to read the entire books because I haven't before and they are hubby's favorite (I wonder why, hehe). But after I read about Hannah, I HAD to stop and reread it. These two ladies paint a perfect picture of what any Christian should do, but truly a woman.

Both Esther and Hannah changed the entire fate of their families. In the broader scheme, they changed the entire fate of nations. Esther saved her own life and her cousin's, along with all the Jews. Hannah had a son to carry on the family name who later ... well, I haven't gotten that far yet, BUT I know Samuel lead up to the birth of Jesus somehow. =)

Esther fasted. Hannah worshipped. As simple as that. Esther fasted before seeing the king. Hannah rose early every morning to worship God in faith that she would one day have a child.

I don't have a family, per se, of my own. I have a husband and the future prospect of a family, which includes children. So why not begin to change the fate of my family now, which could in turn change the fate of a nation. I often find it difficult to remember that EVERYONE in the Bible were living, breathing flesh, just like me. Esther and Hannah were real women with real issues. They nurtured like me. They loved like me. They cried like me. They created beauty like me. They probably even crafted like me. =)

But two ordinary women did extraordinary things by simply fasting (for only three days to be exact) and worshipping God (in the morning). I just might never get through 1 Samuel because I am so enthralled by Hannah!


I figure no one reads this ...

... so it would be a perfect place to lay it all out.

I am tired. I need a vacation. Maybe just a day where I get out of town with no cell phone. No calls. No text messages. No contact with anyone but God. I need a sabbatical. I have worked nonstop since October. School let out and I went to summer camp. Now I'm working two jobs where I work 10 hours a day. I stop summer camp and the next day begins workdays. Workdays end and the next day school starts. Please don't get me wrong, I am very grateful to have a job seeing as many are without but I'm tired. I feel like I can't do anything well. I can't love people well. I can't plan well. I can't take care of my house well. I can't be a wife well. I'm not loving God well (though I have been putting forth a conscious effort on that part).

Sam and I are stepping down from working with the high school youth at church. You'd think this would bring me a little relief with the load I carry but that relief has been stolen by the enemy and is now replaced with worry and guilt. I worry that these kids won't be loved. I am afraid they will feel abandoned. I feel guilty for giving up. I feel guilt over stepping out when it gets messy. I know that being newly married and starting a new career are valid reasons to step down but this is how the devil is playing with these decisions.

I am incredibly lonely and alone all the time. I know this is no one's fault. And if there were someone to blame, it would be me. Though blessed with jobs, Sam and I work total opposite schedules. On his one day off a week, he has band practice for church when I get off work. I know things won't stay this way forever but a part of me really feels that if something, anything, does not give soon, I will break. I feel as though my prayers and pleading for someone to confide in have been left unheard for over a year. I can not help but feel hurt by God. I go to Him with my deepest hurts and longings and still, I am alone.

I know my joy and strength comes from the Lord. I know that I do not carry any of these things alone, for He ultimately carries me and all my baggage. But I am not perfect.


Been Too Long ...

So I feel bad that I completely abandoned my blog for like a whole week. I really don't know where last week went at all! So, I'm going to focus on this week instead. =)

So next week is EOG time. My second grade class had adopted a third grade class to encourage them during the EOGs. We are putting together survival kits with lots of candy in them! I am also thinking about making some sort of banner to hang outside their door. Maybe with a balloon theme? I JUST found a cute balloon wreath that I'm contemplating making to hang outside the door. That's where I got the balloon theme. Now I'm thinking of making a banner and having balloon shaped construction paper that each student can write good luck or something encouraging on it. Now I need to think of a catchy, fun slogan to put on the banner. Here are some ideas of mine ... now remember, it's 8:30 and my brain is tired. Hehe

"Blowing through the EOGs"
"Flying through the EOGs"

Something with lifting?

This is cute. Using a Twister mat and saying "Putting Your Best Foot Forward". Maybe?

Any other ideas?

On to the next thing. So last week I had to read chapter books that I'm going to read with my students in the coming weeks. So I cheated and decided those would count for my books last week. But hey, children's books are so much fun to read. I encourage everyone to read some. They are easy, fun, and thoughtless. Great for just being a kid again for an hour or two.

So this week I am reading the book I last wrote about, Azusa Street: They Told Me Their Stories. It's pretty good so far. There is so much introduction and background at the beginning of the book so I'm just now getting to the good part. I'll keep you updated!

Book 4, Week 4
6 Days, 104 Pages


Celebrity Jeopardy, a must-see

I have not fallen off the face of the Earth. I've just been busy ... reading! Ahh! Not really just reading. But being an actual teacher. Yippie! =)

So the lesson plans are mine for the rest of the year. I haven't had to worry about lesson plans and grades and assessment in a year! Oh how I've missed it! All the other second grade teachers are like, "Oh man, assessments. No no no!" And I'm like, "Finally!! To feel like a real teacher again!" It's sad that assessments make me feel like a real teacher. See a problem here? Bev? Barack? Want to fix this?

Anyway ... Yes, I've learned how to assess second graders and use the almighty, all-knowing palm. Hehe. I also have interim reports to go home Monday (which I haven't started yet) and I had to get all my lessons for next week done today so that I would get my copies made in time. Our wonderful copy lady will be out Thursday and Friday. Oh yes. How I've missed those moments.

**** Celebrity Jeopardy is the best! These celebrities are hilarious. They are alot less serious than the usual contestants. *****

So I finished book two, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. DO NOT READ IT. It's not worth it. The beginning is slow to get into the book, the middle is good, and the ending just ruins it. I was highly disappointed. Let me just get it out of the way so you're not tempted to read it, she ends up being in the family line of witches. Yeah, it's not worth it. So now I'm on to my third book. I'm headed in the non-fiction Christian direction this week. This book is titled Azusa Street: They Told Me Their Stories. Azusa Street was a place in California, I believe. It was a crazy awesome revival that happened from 1906-1910. The Holy Spirit was so openly present with physical proof and miracles everyday. I've heard so much about this revival and the book so I'm excited about getting started!

Book 3, Week 3
6 Days, 127 Pages


Thursday Already?!

I can not believe it's Thursday already! Where has the week gone. More importantly ... where has the month gone?? Tomorrow is the last day of April. Four months of 2010 have already come and gone. Sheesh. Plus, it being Thursday, I only have THREE days left to read Book 2. Oh golly ... More on that in a minute.

I am loving my interim position with second grade. I think I could see myself teaching second grade. I had a not-so-good experience in college and pretty much detested anything lower than fourth grade. And of course I never wanted to teach anything higher than fourth. So that pretty much only left my narrow search for a fourth grade position. Thank the Lord for this opportunity!

So today we went over a reading comprehension passage the students did yesterday. It was a recipe on how to make bluberry muffins. In the passage they talk about beating the ingredients together. Well, J sits beside me because he has a hard time staying focussed. He has been tested and approved for special needs assistance so now we're just waiting for that to take place. He can't really read anything we do in class because he's on a low first grade level and has already been retained twice in second grade so he has to move on to third grade next year. He's really smart and can comprehend reading when read to him and he's on grade level in math, he just can't read anything.

Well anyway. He was having a hard time staying with the rest of the class and wasn't checking his work or following along. I had already gotten on him like twice to stay with us. We got to the part in the passage about beating the ingredients and as another student read it, I hear J singing under his breath, "let the beat drop, do do doooo, let the beat drop, do do doooo'. Over and over, the Black Eyed Peas. He had his little shoulders popping and heading bouncing. I didn't have the heart to tell him to stop so I just smiled and started singing the song in my head along with him. =) These are the types of moments in teaching that make it worth it. The joy of working with kids!

So yes .. back to book 2. The Physick of Deliverance Dane. It's taken me longer to get into this book but I've finally gotten there. It's a pretty clean book so far. I just want to get to the end to finally figure out who Deliverance Dane is and what she has to do with a college student in 1991. Like I said before, I enjoy historically based books so this is a good one! I just wish I had more time this week ... I'm getting nervous I won't make my deadline. It's crazy how much I want to meet each deadline and it's just a personal thing. I wish I was this into deadlines in college. Haha.

3 Days, 235 Pages
Book 2, Week 2


Book One is Complete!

That's right. I have met my first goal and I did it two days early. =) I've already been to the libray and picked my next book, but I'll get to that in a minute.

Knit Two by Kate Jacobs. I would give it 3 1/2 stars out of five. I have to warn you that it does use explicit words and a brief sensual section in on chapter but other than that, I really enjoyed it. I liked picking up with old characters and getting back into their lives. As cheesy as it sounds, I really felt like I was part of the Friday Night Knitting club. This book deals with loss and forgiveness and moving on. It's an easy read that won't make your head hurt after reading it. I was a little disappointed that there wasn't more talk of knitting in this one as there was in the first one but that's okay. A free knitting pattern at the end and two recipes made up for it. Give Knit Two a try! =)

My next book will be The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe. I first heard about this book when the author was doing an interview on the Today Show. It is an infusion of the present and the past of the Salem Witch Trials. A college student begins research for her dissertation and discovers she is much closer to the past and history than she knew. I was hooked! I love novels that include history and fiction, especially art history. I have already chosen another novel, to come soon, that deals with fiction and art history. Yipee!

So ... Book 2, Week 2
9 days (since I finished two days early), 362 pages

We have hatched baby birds in our mail box! They are so tiny and cute. Will post pictures of that and the mutantpillars when I am home. I am posting from the parent's computer so I can start my next book.