Saturday, June 29, 2013


"What if you woke up tomorrow and the only things you had were what you thanked God for yesterday?"

I heard that a few months ago, and it's stuck with me. It certainly makes me want to thank God more continually for my blessings!

Today I am thankful for a good work week- lots of fun activities, nice weather for outside play, and compliments from several parents! Always encouraging to be complimented!

I am also thankful for my husband becoming his normal self again- he was throwing up and way out of it for three days this week. We went to my parents last night to celebrate my sister's birthday  and we said it had been 73 hours since Kley had left the apartment! I'm thankful for his health and time with family!

I'm really thankful as well that we have a short work week and then next Saturday we are leaving for vacation to CO with Kley's family for the week!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The simple joy of a popsicle.

Wednesday was a rough day at school last week. We really struggled as a class (thankfully that doesn't happen often!). We had to have many talks about good behavior. BUT, the silver lining (more like a gigantic rainbow), was a great discussion about it. During our Bible time we sang a song about being the "light of the world." We talked about what that meant, the difference between darkness and light, how our actions reflect darkness or light, etc. We had such a deep conversation (incredibly deep for three-year-olds) about forgiveness and what repent means.

Then several children, WITHOUT ANY PROMPTING, began praying out loud for Jesus to forgive their sins from the morning. It was absolutely incredible. I had goosebumps and I truly felt the Holy Spirit in the classroom.

One of the top moments of teaching ever.

Thursday and Friday were thankfully much better. Thursday we made popsicles, and it was so fun to watch their faces. It was like Christmas- they were beyond pumped. In the morning, we decorated our cups with stickers, mixed pink lemonade in a big pitcher, poured it in the cups, covered it with aluminum foil, and stuck a plastic spoon in for the stick. It was simple, but they had so much fun. (One of my quieter girls even came up to me after and nicely asked me for an extra piece of foil, and went over to the kitchen and started making pretend popsicles on the play dishes. So cute!)

Another teacher favorite about having special treats is that you have the best motivation ever if kids are misbehaving. I made a threat during snack that if they didn't show good manners, then we couldn't get the popsicles out until they fixed it. You've never seen kids sit up straight and be quiet so fast. :)

We went outside and ate the popsicles (it was super hot), and it was so great. They loved it- everyone was so good, eating their popsicles, laughing at how it was melting, and having the biggest grins.

I had a lot of moments this week that made me appreciate my job.

I stood back, watching them eat their popsicles, and thought, "This is why I do what I do." Who knew popsicles brought such joy? :)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Movies, movies, movies.

So I never blogged about last Saturday. Unfortunately, I have no pictures except for Instagram, and I still haven't invested the time (or rather made Kley invest the time) to fix it on my blog. For some reason the connection link between the two hasn't worked in months. Hmm.

But, last Saturday was one of the greatest in a long time. My family was out of town, and a lot of our friends were busy, so Kley and I had the WHOLE DAY to ourselves. It was wonderful! That doesn't happen often, so we relished it. We went to the Farmer's Market in the morning, Kley even came to Target with me, and we watched TWO movies! We got home around 2:00 and already felt like we had done so much, and we still had lots of the day left! What a great feeling.

First we watched Safe House. I was scared to watch another Denzel movie, after the last one we watched (Flight) was so bad. But, Denzel redeemed himself! It's definitely a man movie, but I liked it and would recommend it. (I even named my beta fish Denzel in college after him. Ha.)

The second movie was The Intouchables. This movie was crazy! I first heard of it from someone's blog I read, and she raved about how good it was. Kley was hesitant, but then the guy at the movie store also said it was great when we checked it out. So then we left and I smiled at Kley, because now we had two good reviews.

However, there was a green sticker on the movie that said "this movie is sub-titled." I naively thought that meant that there were just added subtitles at the bottom, dumbly not thinking that you can choose to add subtitles if you wanted to in most movies. It never dawned on me that it would be in another language, so we popped it in and the entire movie was in FRENCH. Not even Spanish, which I know a little bit, but French. Ha.

We thought about turning it off, but kept going, and are so glad we did. It was a great great movie. It wasn't even that big of a deal that it was in French. It's about this guy who "interviews" for this job of taking care of a man paralyzed from the neck down. He just wanted to show up at the interview so he could write it on his papers to get government benefits, but somehow the guy likes him and challenges him that he couldn't last two weeks at the job. He ends up helping take care of this man, and the friendship they form is amazing. The movie is also hilarious, and based off of a true story.

Watch it.

Then, last night at the last minute after work, we went and saw Monster's University in theaters with my parents and sister. Another good one. Watch it. Especially with all the crud they are allowing in movies these days, I am liking kids movies more and more. It was really good and funny. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My husband, the rock star.

My own husband has become a rock star before my very eyes.

Kley is working at school with me this summer (don't know if I've mentioned that or not). He is doing the elementary school aged day camp, and is doing an awesome job at it. It was such a God thing that this fell into place- at the perfect time when he wasn't finding a clerkship. He thought he was going to work at school, then something came up and it wasn't going to work out, so he applied for other jobs, never heard anything, then the something that came up fell through and the offer came up again!

It's been great because we have the same schedules- both with Monday off! We budgeted for Kley to not make any money at all his three years of law school, so having an extra pay check for three months is awesome (not that he is making a lot, but anything helps!), and we are also saving on gas by driving together!

He has been working there full time for 2.5 weeks now (two weeks before that part time). So far, I have seen him dance like crazy in front of all the kids during praise and worship, seen kids laugh with him, seen kids listen to and respect him, heard that he entertained the whole bus ride by doing accent impressions, and seen him come home dripping in sweat and exhausted because he truly gave the day his all.

Someone asked me if he really was that happy all the time. I have had at least four different people come up to me and tell me how great of a job he's doing.

I am so proud of him. This is his first job ever working with kids. The first few days were filled with lots of questions and confusion, but he has learned the ropes so fast and is successfully doing a good job!

I always thought that Kley would be a good dad, but now I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that he will be the most fantastic dad. I'm so pumped!

He also volunteered instantly last night go to help mow a friend's lawn tonight right after work. No complaining about how he already worked a 10 hour day and was tired. Instantly said yes- he would serve a friend in need.

Man, did I marry a keeper. :) I am so blessed by you, Kley! Thank you, God, for a good man.

More proof of Kley's goodness from our Florida trip back in March:

Kley really doesn't like most rides, but he still had a great attitude, never complained, and held all our bags while we went on the rides. (He did not actually ride the Tower of Terror. Ha.)

Kley shopping and finding weird things to try on. Does Kley like shopping? No. But he went anyway. :)

Kley playing games with my family in the pool while I was a pansy and sat in my chair reading.

Kley leading the pack with my mom, being the "map aficionado" and helping us get to our favorite rides the fastest. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Birthday and Happy Father's Day to the World's Best! 2013

Today is Father's Day, which also happens to fall on my dad's birthday this year- June 16, 2013. 

My family was in Chicago this weekend for my youngest sister Kayla's volleyball tournament, so hopefully we will be able to see them for a little bit tonight when they get back. This morning I ended up at Church alone because Kley was feeling sick, but it turned out to be really good. Valley has been doing a sermon series called "Perfectly Imperfect" and it's been one of my favorite sermon series I've ever heard. They've been focusing on different relationships- Moms, Dads, friendships, marriages, etc. I love it because it's been very relational with tons of stories shared. I love hearing stories about people's personal lives- I love connecting with people, and personal stories make the points of the sermon really come alive to me. Today someone shared about Perfectly Imperfect Dads, and it was really really good.

I am so thankful for my dad. I know this day is filled with a lot of hardship for some who have a strained relationship with their dad, never knew their dad, lost their dad, etc. Kley and I are both blessed with wonderful earthly fathers, and we certainly don't say thank you enough. 

I wrote Psalm 112 in a note to my dad before I left for college, and it still applies today. My dad exemplifies this Psalm well.

Psalm 112[a]

Praise the Lord.[b]
Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
    who find great delight in his commands.
Their children will be mighty in the land;
    the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in their houses,
    and their righteousness endures forever.
Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
    for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
    who conduct their affairs with justice.
Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
    they will be remembered forever.
They will have no fear of bad news;
    their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
    in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor,
    their righteousness endures forever;
    their horn[c] will be lifted high in honor.
10 The wicked will see and be vexed,
    they will gnash their teeth and waste away;
    the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.
 I am blessed to have a dad who loves and fears the Lord, and who taught/teaches me to do the same. His righteousness will endure forever- he is a good man. He is leaving a great mark on the world, and raised me and my siblings in a way that we will do the same, since he was our dad. My dad is gracious and compassionate. My dad is generous and lends freely- of his heart, time, energy, money, and abilities. My dad conducts his affairs with justice. My dad's hope will never be shaken, because he trusts in Christ. My dad will be remembered forever for the great legacy is he leaving. My dad is very steadfast- loyal, stable, trustworthy, sound, and available. My dad has scattered his gifts to the poor, and he definitely deserves to be lifted high in honor. A neat footnote about that verse is that "horn" symbolizes dignity in verse 9. Another neat fact is that this Psalm is an acrostic poem- with the lines beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

My dad was always there. Always. He would stay up late and wake up early to get his work done, so he could come to all our music and athletic events growing up. He never complained about being tired and drove endless hours to watch us play.

My dad was the neighborhood favorite growing up. The neighborhood kids would come knock on OUR door and ask MY dad to come outside and play, instead of their own dads. We played kickball, seven steps, and kick the can on countless evenings in our backyard. This may not seem like a big deal, but I think it speaks volumes for his character that everyone wanted him to play and that he was willing. Now being an adult myself, I'm sure there were plenty of evenings where he wanted to relax after a long day of work. But he didn't- he played with us.

My dad is a lawyer. I know there are many jokes people tell about how bad lawyers are, but my dad is a good and honest man. I will never understand all that he does or has done, but he has helped a lot of people. He has spent a lot of time helping work for people- not charging them near like he could. My dad has been a good sounding board for people when they didn't have anyone else to help. He has remained faithful and worked very hard to provide for his family, even while enduring hard trials at work. My dad has graciously and generously spent his time outside of work helping people too, at Church and at Iowa Christian Academy, where we all went to school. 

My dad is wise and gives great advice. My dad has a unique ability to read my face and know if I am upset or not. There's no fooling him. Even if I cried hours ago, my dad can tell. It's a sign of how well he knows me. My dad always listens, and is one of my biggest helping hands through life's struggles. 

I remember my dad dressing up in a gorilla suit and performing a karaoke show for us, handing out bananas to the audience, just to make us laugh. My dad was always "it" playing games. He was gracious to me when I hit the side of the garage while backing out in high school and cracked all the siding. He disciplined me when I was mean to my brother when he bought me a new scooter and I made fun of his old one, and forgave me after. He's given me his dessert so I could have extra. He let my friends come over in high school and talked to them when they were coming/going, investing in their lives. He came and picked me up when I parked illegally at the fair and my car got towed, and taught me a life lesson by making me pay for it. He played Barbies and dolls with us, and plenty of girly games like Pretty Pretty Princess and Mall Madness over and over again. He stood on the sidelines at every soccer game, even though it pained him because I was the most unaggressive player and liked drawing in the dirt better. He whispered jokes to me while I sat waiting at piano recitals so I wouldn't be nervous. He loudly kissed my mom on purpose because we thought it was weird. He listened to 80's music loudly in the car by himself driving home from work. My dad was/is a spiritual leader- doing family devotions after dinner. My dad publicly praised my mom. He told us he was proud of us. He told us he believed in us. He told us he loved us. And still does. 

The first time I ever saw my dad cry was when he saw me in my wedding dress. 

I couldn't be more blessed to have him be the one who walked me down the aisle.

I love you, Dad. You have been so influential and monumental in my life and I am forever grateful. I know that when your time comes, Jesus will most definitely say to you, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Favorite Movies.

Here are my top four favorite movies, in no particular order. (Why four? I don't know.) I love each of these movies so much- if you haven't watched them, you should. I can't say much, because I am not good at summarizing a movie without giving anything away. 

After a long day at work, I would love to sit down and watch all four of these. (Although I would probably only make it 20 minutes before falling asleep. My entire family will laugh at me for just saying that. :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Moving (at school).

This weekend was the big moving weekend at school! I talked about switching classrooms first in this post. This weekend we (my coworker, Lauren, and I) switched from the two-year-old room to the three-year-old room. I have mixed feelings, but mostly good. It's just very strange- I've worked in that room for two years!

1. I'm thankful I had two weeks to train the new teacher who will replace me. It makes me feel a lot better about leaving when there is a full time teacher in there instead of a different sub everyday.
2. At the same time, it's hard for me to watch someone do something differently than you. Change is hard for me. But, it's fine (or at least I have to keep telling myself that) because the new teacher has every right to change anything and do whatever she wants now- it's her room! And that's hypocritical of me, because I am changing things in my new classroom too.
3. MY FAVORITE THING: This transition shouldn't be too difficult because I already know all the three-year-olds! I had most of them in my room before, and even the few new ones I have seen enough for them to know me. It will be so great to have them again- it's like we aren't really starting over since we've been together already.
4. It's hard to leave things unfinished. There were a few issues that weren't fully resolved in my last room. But, I just have to stop thinking about it and trust that it will be fine. The new teacher will have to deal with it. I can't control what happens there anymore.
5. It's hard to leave sweet kids and parents!
6. But it's also awesome to go back to sweet kids and parents!
7. Kley was talking last night about how weird it is to not go to work today (with the new 10 hour day schedules, our day off is Monday). It definitely is weird, and it took awhile for me to get used to. Overall, though, I love it. I remember a teacher talking to me back in college about how we cannot take the place of God in their lives. It's something I struggled with. As a teacher, you can get burnt out fast working really hard all day, coming early and staying late to get things ready, always thinking about the kids. It's especially hard when you have kids who have a rough home life. (Thankfully I don't worry about that as much at my current job.) I still am working on it, but I'm getting better. There are times where I just have to stop. I am not God and I shouldn't be. No matter what happens, I will not always be there for my kids. I can help them, but I can't save them from everything. Only God can be there always. This move is a helpful reminder in that for me. I can go to work, in whatever room I'm supposed to be in, work really hard and do all that I can while I'm there, and when it's over it's over. That's all I can do.

I'm sure I could say more, but I'll stop. It was really nice of my boss to let us go in on Saturday- we got overtime pay and it was so great to have some time kid-free to set up! Here's to a great week in my new room!

Monday, June 3, 2013


Sometimes the selfishness of my kids at school is bothering. Frankly, annoying. (A child's selfishness more clearly manifests itself than an adult's- in most cases.) Because I am being selfish and I want them to stop being selfish so the room can just be at peace. After a long day or week, my patience quotient is way lower than it should be, and repeating the same things over and over is draining.

But you know what? They need it. They need me to repeat it. They need me to model it. I am the one that is supposed to teach them how to act. Me. 

I don't want to be a teacher that barks out requests and speaks with an annoyed tone. I want to lovingly guide and model. 

2 Timothy 3:16- All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. Someone shared that verse in a parent meeting the other day, and it's a good reminder. I want to speak Scripture to my kids (so grateful to teach at a Christian school!). I want to rebuke and train for righteousness- not because I want their behavior to stop or change, but because I am teaching them how to be a CHRIST FOLLOWER and GOSPEL SPREADER. "Showing love to our friends" is a huge phrase in our room. 

Is hitting your friend showing love?
You just shared your toy- that was showing love to your friend! 
Etc. etc.

Sometimes it's so frustrating to talk about how hitting hurts our friends and is not showing love OVER and OVER again. I wish I could have some magic fairy dust to sprinkle over them to talk about hitting ONE time and poof!- it's magically cured and no one will ever hit again.

I don't have any magic fairy dust. But what do I have? The Bible- the words God breathed and He's given me to teach with. 

And how hypocritical is it of me when I am just as selfish? Granted, people grow up and learn that you can't hit people whenever they do something you don't like. But that doesn't mean that our selfishness is any less. It's a daily battle to die to self and put away selfishness- to truly think of others as better than yourself and to think of them first.

How many times have I trained my kids about hitting? So many I can't even count. How many times has Jesus whispered "lean on me" or "come to me" and I keep looking elsewhere? Shamefully, also so many I can't even count. 

I like reading Proverbs because it's clear cut and direct.

Proverbs 19:11- A person's wisdom yields patience; it is to one's glory to overlook an offense.
Proverbs 16:32- Patience is better than strength. Controlling your temper is better than capturing a city.
Proverbs 14:29- A patient man has good understanding, but a quick tempered man displays folly.


The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
forbearance - endurance - sufferance - solitaire

I pray that God would help me capture my own selfishness, so I can be slow to anger, gracious, compassionate, and abounding in love to my kids (Psalm 103:8). Just like Jesus is with me. Over and over again.

This picture is one of my favorites. I don't know these children, but I pinned it awhile back on Pinterest. I love the way this child is praising with abandon and authenticity. I want to teach my kids to praise like that.

Patience is a virtue.

One I need more of.

Less selfishness. More patience.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Oklahoma tornadoes.

This past week or so, there has been really bad weather in Oklahoma, including a few really bad tornadoes. It's almost hard to even fathom losing absolutely all of your material possessions, and even harder to think about losing someone you love- whether they died in the tornado, or physically not knowing where a loved one is.

My heart and prayers go out to them. I have no idea why things like tornadoes happen, but thankfully God is the sovereign one and not me. His comforting arms are always there.

Here is a blog post that my friend wrote, who lives in Oklahoma. I encourage you to read it.

Oklahoma tornadoes

The whole gang.

This weekend my whole family was together again. Such a special treat, as that doesn't always happen often, with two away at college and plenty of activities happening.

Friday night we did nothing, which was totally awesome. We hadn't had a free weekend night in awhile just the two of us. We were lazy and got Olive Garden takeout, watched some Friday Night Lights, and caught up on a few episodes of Grey's Anatomy. My mom and sister were coming back from their New York trip (referenced here), and my brother/dad were supposed to be heading to Dallas to drop him off at his internship for the summer (also referenced here). My brother, Keaton, ended up not having to head down until today, so my dad told my mom/sister that Kley and I were picking them up, while in reality they were. It was a good surprise, especially for my mom, since she thought she would miss seeing Keaton altogether. So my mom was texting me all their updates, while I was really sitting in bed watching TV, and I was forwarding them to my dad. Ha. :)

Saturday we went to my parents for supper and just hung out. I feel sentimental and old, because everything my dad said growing up is true- family is most important, treasure this time because we won't always be together, eating dinner together is a great gift from God, etc. We ate dinner, talked, and laughed a lot together around the table. It was a great moment together that I will treasure for a long time. Now that I am older and not living at home, I treasure it in a deeper way than I did when I was younger or in high school. Kind of like the "you never appreciate what you have until it's gone" principle- now that I don't have it everyday, it means all the more when it does happen. Thank you, God, for a wonderful family that I love and truly enjoy spending time with.

(I know I have already blogged this picture back at Christmastime, but it's the last picture I have taken of the whole family together, so I'm posting it again because I love it.)